Jose Altuve expected to miss at least two months with a broken thumb
You can add Houston Astros star Jose Altuve to the 2023 World Baseball Classic injury list.
Altuve left Saturday’s USA-Venezuela quarter-final (which USA won 9-7) when he was hit in the right hand by a pitch.
On Sunday, Astros manager Dusty Baker said Altuve is likely to be out for a while and the star infielder should see team doctors on Sunday.
On top of that, USA Today Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale reports that Altuve expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a fractured right thumb, and that if he’s a quick healer, the hope is that he could return at some point in May.
Altuve played in 141 games a year ago for the Astros, hitting .300 with a .921 OPS and 28 homers. He also hit .308 in the Astros’ World Series win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s one of the league’s best hitters and a vital part of the Astros’ success over the past decade.
He is also the last player to suffer a major injury during the World Baseball Classic that will impact the Major League Baseball season.
Los Angeles Dodgers star Freddie Freeman was briefly sidelined with a hamstring injury, while closer Mets superstar Edwin Diaz was lost for the season after injuring his knee celebrating a victory. Now Altuve is about to miss a lot of time.
Those injuries have made the WBC a lightning rod for criticism, but there’s no denying how much players and fans love him. Not only are players fully engaged and fully committed to representing their country, but the games have broken attendance records and produced incredible environments with every game.
Injuries stink and are an unfortunate outcome, but the tournament isn’t going away anytime soon given the money to be won and the interest and passion from players and fans.