Astros right-hander Josh James likely will miss the start of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip on Friday.
The recovery time for that procedure is approximately 6-8 months, the club announced on Saturday. A sixth-month recovery would take James into late April, while an eight-month recovery would stretch into late June. That’s another blow to an Astros pitching staff that already lost ace Justin Verlander for the entire 2021 season after he recently underwent Tommy John surgery.
James originally sustained an injury to his hip on Aug. 20 at Colorado and was placed on the injured list until Sept. 9. When he returned, he enjoyed his best stretch of 2020, allowing one earned run and striking out eight across six relief appearances through the end of the regular season.
The first half of the abbreviated 2020 season had been a struggle for James. He walked 11 and allowed seven runs across a pair of three-inning starts after beginning in the rotation. The Astros then sent him to the bullpen.
Overall, James posted a 7.27 ERA over 17 1/3 innings in 2020, the 27-year-old’s third season with Houston. He also appeared in relief in three postseason games, allowing four runs across four innings and getting tagged with two blown saves.