The Houston Astros are trying to climb the AL West standings after a shaky start to the 2024 MLB season. One part of Houston's struggles is health-related. Club manager Joe Espada dropped a truth bomb on outfielder Kyle Tucker's lower leg injury ahead of Saturday's Detroit Tigers matchup.

Espada said if Tucker “doesn't start running around here the next day or two,” a rehab assignment will be something the team “starts to kick around,” per The Athletic's Chandler Rome. The update comes a few days after Houston's team spokesperson said Tucker would not be back by Friday's Tigers matchup. Yet, the consensus was that he was “feeling better.”

Kyle Tucker suffered a shin injury in the bottom of the third inning of Houston's June 3rd, 7-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tucker, on a 2-0 count against Cardinals starter Kyle Gibson, uncorked a huge swing on a cutter that drifted inside the plate, as described by ClutchPoints' Jedd Pagaduan. Unfortunately for the Astros right fielder, the batted ball ricocheted off his shin, and he immediately writhed on the ground in pain while he clutched onto the impacted area. He exited the game and has remained out since.

Thankfully, Tucker only sustained a right shin contusion from the incident. With time, he should be back in the Astros lineup. Tucker has had an impressive start to the 2024 season. Through 60 games, he has hit 19 home runs, which ranks him third in the league. In addition, he boasts a .979 OPS (fourth), has been responsible for 40 RBI, and bats a .266 average.

Speaking of ailments, Joe Espada further revealed that Ronel Blanco could start Sunday on regular rest, per Rome. Yet, given Blanco's 95 pitches in each of his last four starts, Houston will continue to be cautious with him.

It will be interesting to see how the Astros fare amid their injury return projects.

Astros continue to seek momentum amid injury woes

The Astros enter Saturday afternoon's Tiger matchup with a 32-38 record, which places them third in the AL West standing. Houston sits just one win behind the Texas Rangers and nine behind the division-leading Seattle Mariners. The Astros won their first game against Detroit 4-0 after a stout showing from Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman.

Altuve went at bat three times and amassed two hits and one run. Meanwhile, Bregman went at bat for time, accounting for one run, one hit, and one RBI. Bregman continues to play strong despite an injury scare.

Bregman exited the Astros' June 9'th matchup against the Los Angeles Angels after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. Fortunately, Bregman received a bone bruise diagnosis instead of a more serious ailment. Through 66 games, the 29-year-old year has hit 33 home runs and accounted for 33 RBI.

As serviceable as Bregman is, rumors suggest the Astros may trade him ahead of the league deadline. Yet, if he continues to perform well for Houston, they could be forced to keep him on the roster.

All in all, as the midpoint of the 2024 MLB season approaches, the Astros want to do all they can to keep climbing the AL West and push for a playoff spot.