Jose Altuve Injury Update: Astros star undergoes surgery for broken thumb suffered in WBC vs USA

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Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve suffered a fractured thumb during Saturday night’s World Baseball Classic game between the United States and Venezuela and will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair the finger. according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros have yet to set a timeline for Altuve’s return, but he’s sure to miss the start of the season.

Altuve was hit by a pitch from Colorado Rockies closer Daniel Bard and left the game immediately and in obvious pain. Here is the injury:

A high-profile player had already been seriously injured during the WBC: New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz. He tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during Puerto Rico’s celebrations after defeating the Dominican Republic. Díaz is expected to miss the entire season. It was an accidental injury at a party. Altuve was injured during a traditional baseball game.

It goes without saying that the loss of Altuve, who ranked fifth among all qualified players in 2022 with .921 OPS, is a devastating blow to the defending World Series champions for a long time, especially as Yordan Alvarez suffers from and has a hand injury spring not played yet. Opening-day batsman-designate Michael Brantley’s status is also up in the air as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery that ended his 2022 season early.

Utility men David Hensley and Mauricio Dubón are the likely candidates to replace Altuve. Hensley had 191 OPS+ in 16 games last season. Dubón, on the other hand, posted 60 OPS+ in 104 games split between the Astros and the San Francisco Giants. Neither seems to replace Altuve as a whole, although it’s fair to say that few players would be up to the task.

Altuve, who turns 33 in May, slashed .300/.387/.533 last season with 39 doubles and 28 home runs. The Astros went 106-56 en route to the franchise’s second World Series title, though Altuve won 11-to-58 (.190) in the team’s 13 postseason games.

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