Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a broken right thumb, according to a pair of tweets from USA TODAY Sports Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale.
“If Jose Altuve is a fast healer,” wrote Nightengale. “The hope is that he could return in May.”
According to the MLB, the All-Star second baseman was expected to miss significant time after he suffered a hand injury during a 9-7 win by team United States in the World Baseball Classic. Altuve suffered the injury in the fifth inning, when his right hand was hit by a 96 mph fastball from Colorado Rockies pitcher Daniel Bard.
The Astros are set to evaluate Jose Altuve, who re-arrived at camp on Sunday morning with his thumb bandaged, on Sunday.
“I know he’s hurt,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said Sunday morning. “Don’t know how severe it is.
“It appears it could be a while.”
Altuve finished the night with one run and one hit in two at-bats. Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner all but sealed the win for the United States when he hit a grand slam at the bottom of the eighth inning to punch the team’s ticket to the Classic’s semifinals.
In a February interview, the Astros second baseman spoke about what the honor of representing his country in the Classic meant to him.
“It’s amazing. It’s an honor for me to get to play,” Jose Altuve said. “Obviously we have a big responsibility to go there and represent our country.
“To win it would be an amazing thing for the people back home in Venezuela.”
An eight-time All-Star and one-time American League MVP for the Astros, Altuve has 12 seasons of MLB experience since he made his league debut in a 3-2 Astros victory against the Washington Nationals in 2011. Altuve took fifth place in AL MVP voting, earning one more vote than Cleveland Guardians infielder Andrés Giménez while taking spots behind New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani.