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Altuve to run, test injured knee over weekend

Post Oak Little League visits Astros; McCann to ramp up activity
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Second baseman Jose Altuve (right knee soreness) will not return from the 10-day disabled list during the Astros' six-game homestand against the Mariners and Rockies this week, manager AJ Hinch said, again extending the first career DL stint for the reigning American League Most Valuable Player.

Altuve said Friday that he is still unable to run, but the Astros plan to "test" his knee on Saturday or Sunday by running him then.

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HOUSTON -- Second baseman Jose Altuve (right knee soreness) will not return from the 10-day disabled list during the Astros' six-game homestand against the Mariners and Rockies this week, manager AJ Hinch said, again extending the first career DL stint for the reigning American League Most Valuable Player.

Altuve said Friday that he is still unable to run, but the Astros plan to "test" his knee on Saturday or Sunday by running him then.

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Asked if there is pain in his right knee, Altuve said, "I don't know. Whenever we go out there and run or hit, I will let you guys know the way I feel."

Altuve has not played since July 25, one day before being placed on the DL. Astros president of baseball operations and general manager, Jeff Luhnow, said Thursday he does not expect Altuve's DL stint to be a lengthy one. The six-time All-Star is eligible to be activated from the DL, but has yet to begin a rehab process, meaning there is much to be done before he could return.

"I don't think it's going to be too long," Altuve said, "but, I mean, I don't know. It's not easy to come here and not to be in the lineup. I'm supporting my teammates. I'm going out there and supporting them. Hopefully, we're going to win a lot of games and see what happens."

Springer updates injury
George Springer, who spoke Friday night for the first time since returning to Houston after spraining his left thumb on a slide into second base on Sunday, said he's lucky test results revealed no ligament damage, allowing Springer to avoid a more serious injury.

"It's something that I'm obviously very, very lucky and very, very fortunate to kind of escape a lot worse than I have," Springer said.

Video: HOU@LAD: Springer exits with hand injury after slide

Springer, who was wearing a brace around his left wrist, said he's unsure when he will be able to pick up a bat and begin his recovery process.

"This is a freak thing and a baseball thing," Springer said, "and it happens. ... It's been tough, but it is what it is."

Post Oak Little League team visits Minute Maid
One day before they depart for the Little League World Series, the Post Oak Little League team was celebrated by the defending World Series champions.

The Astros invited Post Oak to watch batting practice from the Minute Maid Park field before Friday's game, giving all members an opportunity to mingle with players. Post Oak had the chance to meet Hinch, chat with team president Reid Ryan and take photos with Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.

Bregman even threw the team a Twitter shoutout after they sealed their ticket to Williamsport, Pa., on Wednesday:

Tweet from @ABREG_1: Post Oak to Williamsport!!!!! Congrats guys!! Keep doing your thing!!!!!!

Post Oak advanced to the Little League World Series after defeating Oklahoma in the Southwest Region title game.

"We like winning around here and we certainly like winners," Hinch said prior to meeting the team. "It'll be fun to see the smiles on their faces and the genuine excitement."

Worth noting
• The Astros plan to ramp up catcher Brian McCann's workload in the next few days, Hinch said. McCann has not had any setbacks since hitting the DL on July 1 following midseason knee surgery. The Astros expect McCann to return to action in 1-2 weeks, either with the Astros or on a Minor League rehab assignment, president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday.

• Hinch said he contacted Major League Baseball officials Friday to inquire for a "more collaborative review" and clearer definition of the balk call on Justin Verlander in Thursday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners. MLB established the play was a balk based on "distance and direction," Hinch said, which confirmed Verlander's foot was improperly directed too far toward third base when it should have gone toward second on the attempted pickoff throw.

Video: SEA@HOU: Verlander tossed after arguing balk

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Jose Altuve