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Jose Altuve suffers broken thumb in Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic loss to Team USA

Jose Altuve suffers broken thumb in Venezuela's World Baseball Classic loss to Team USA

Venezuela second baseman and Houston Astros All-Star Jose Altuve suffered a broken right thumb when he was hit by a pitch in a World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Team USA, according to Venezuelan team officials.

Altuve was hit in the right hand by a Daniel Bard pitch during the fifth inning at Miami’s LoanDepot Park and replaced by pinch runner Luis Rengifo. While Rengifo scored one of Venezuela’s four runs in the go-ahead rally, Team USA came back to eliminate Venezuela 9-7 on Trea Turner‘s grand slam.

The Astros, the reigning World Series champions, announced they would provide another update on Altuve on Sunday, when he returns to camp in West Palm Beach, Florida.

WBC: USA advances to semifinals on Trea Turner grand slam vs. Venezuela

Altuve becomes the second All-Star and key performer for a playoff club to suffer a significant injury in the WBC. New York Mets All-Star closer Edwin Diaz suffered a ruptured patella tendon in the postgame revelry of Puerto Rico’s elimination game against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, will almost certainly miss the start of the season. The Astros begin defense of their title March 30 at Minute Maid Park against the Chicago White Sox. Utilitymen Mauricio Dubon and David Hensley would be in line to assume some of Altuve’s duties.

Contributing: Bob Nightengale in Miami

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jose Altuve breaks thumb during Venezuela’s WBC loss to USA

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