Astros taking their time with Springer's rehab

Astros taking their time with Springer's rehab

ANAHEIM -- Astros outfielder George Springer is eligible to be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Wednesday, but he'll still have to clear a series of tests before he'll be allowed to return.

Springer, who suffered a concussion running into the wall at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, is slowly increasing his activity in Houston, manager A.J. Hinch said. One of the biggest hurdles for Springer, Hinch said, will be how he responds when his heart rate gets elevated.

"You almost start from scratch," said Hinch, who didn't rule out a brief Minor League rehab stint for Springer. "You do some running activity, get on the bike, do some stuff off the tee and make sure he responds favorably to it, and then he can get back into game action."

Springer was hitting .192 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 27 games for the Astros. He had drawn 18 walks and stolen 10 bases, so he was making an impact offensively despite the low average. Of course, defensively he's racked up some amazing catches this year.

"We miss his energy," Hinch said. "He's an electrifying player on both sides of the ball. Even when he's not swinging the bat, he'll draw some walks and steal some bases. His highlight reel in the outfield is exceptional, and Colby [Rasmus] has made a couple of diving plays in his absence.

"More than anything, he brings a different element to our lineup regardless of whether he's swinging the bat well or not. We miss his dancing in the dugout, and his personality is infectious. We're anxious to get him back once he's healthy."

In addition to Springer, the Astros will also get two other players back on the field this week. Closer Luke Gregerson could return from the emergency family leave list as early as Tuesday, and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (blister) will make his debut on Wednesday against the Giants.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.