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Jose Altuve To Undergo Surgery On Fractured Thumb

Jose Altuve To Undergo Surgery On Fractured Thumb

Astros general manager Dana Brown informed reporters, including Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, that second baseman Jose Altuve has a fractured right thumb and will undergo surgery in the “coming days.” There is no timetable for his return. Altuve left last night’s game in the World Baseball Classic after being hit on the hand by a pitch. Marly Rivera of ESPN had previously relayed that Altuve had indeed suffered a fracture, as feared.

The news obviously comes as a big blow to the defending World Series champions, as Altuve has been a cornerstone of the team for years. Not only has he been reliable in his excellent performance, but he’s also never really dealt with a significant injury until now. Over the past ten full seasons, going back to 2012, Altuve has never played fewer than 124 games in an individual campaign. That low tally came in 2019, when a hamstring strain sent him to the injured list for just over a month. Apart from that, all his trips to the IL have been fairly minor, meaning he is now likely facing the most lengthy absence of his career. Though the club hasn’t provided a timetable for Altuve’s return, there’s no doubt that he’s facing a significant absence. Bryce Harper suffered a thumb fracture last year and ended up missing two months of the season. Every injury and recovery is different, but it would be reasonable to expect a similar path ahead for the Astros second baseman.

Altuve, 33 in May, has been one of the better players in the league in that time but is coming off one of his best seasons to date. He hit 28 home runs, stole 18 bases and walked in a career-high 10.9% of his trips to the plate. His .300/.387/.533 batting line resulted in a 164 wRC+, a career-high figure that indicated he was 64% better than the league average hitter. Defensive metrics were split on the value of his glovework, but he was still ranked as being worth 6.6 wins above replacement by FanGraphs, his highest tally in that department since the infamous sign-stealing season of 2017.

The exact date of his return will depend upon how long it takes to heal and then how much time he needs to get back into game shape after his layoff, but it seems like it will be a decent chunk of the schedule either way. While Altuve figures to be back for the latter months of the season, the club will have to figure out how to man the keystone for the time being. Mauricio Dubón, David Hensley and Rylan Bannon are the options on the 40-man roster,…

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