CHICAGO (AP) — Houston Astros star Jose Altuve is moving a step closer to returning from a broken right thumb.
Altuve was set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday.
The eight-time All-Star and 2017 AL MVP broke his thumb when he was hit by a pitch playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He had surgery March 22, and general manager Dana Brown said after the operation he’d be out at least eight weeks.
This is the longest Altuve has been sidelined. He batted .300 with 103 runs, 28 homers and 18 steals for the World Series champion Astros last season.
Mauricio Dubón has played well in his absence, with a .287 average entering Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Sugar Land was scheduled to play El Paso, San Diego’s Triple-A club.
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