The Edwin Diaz injury might be the one still on our minds when we talk about MLB stars getting hurt in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
However, other top performers suffered injuries there, too, most notably Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve.
Well, the Astros activated Altuve from the 10-day injured list on Friday.
The day, for Houston fans, is finally here.
Tonight, Jose Altuve returns. pic.twitter.com/H95PEmcyD5
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 19, 2023
The 2017 AL MVP needed surgery for a fractured right thumb in late-March.
That’s in the rearview mirror now, as he’s been cleared to make his season debut Friday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Altuve didn’t fare too well in his rehab assignment, going 2-for-22.
However, the Astros are good and have a deep enough lineup to afford giving him some time to shake off the rust in the majors.
Fans, of course, celebrated his return on social media.
I literally love Jose Altuve https://t.co/XePgGPGqTl
— Josh Sarkar (@JoshSarkar) May 19, 2023
That Jose Altuve guy is officially back.
Let's get it! #Astros #Ready2Reign pic.twitter.com/i3NKdeeLQk
— Keith T. (@Da_Taylormaniac) May 19, 2023
Houston is trending in the right direction, as they have won four straight games.
They are already 24-19 after an inauspicious start and are two games behind the division leaders, the surprising Texas Rangers.
Man, this last week for the Astros has been so important.
24-19, on a 90+ win pace in 43 games without Jose Altuve? Every one of us would have signed up for that in March, if offered.
Granted, he's not going to be in peak form immediately, but they survived the hard part.
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) May 19, 2023
Having Altuve back will lengthen an already dominant lineup that has Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Jeremy Pena and other top performers.
He showed last year that he is still in his prime, by hitting 28 home runs, scoring 103 times, driving in 57 runs, and stealing 18 bases with a rock-solid .300/.387/.533 line.
He also had a hand in the Astros’ World Series victory last year after a discrete showing in the Division and Championship Series.
He has been, in addition to that, the spiritual leader of the Astros since the mid-2010s.NEXT: Astros Hype Up Jose Altuve's Impending Return