SAN FRANCISCO -- Wednesday will mark the six-week mark since Astros outfielder George Springer suffered a fractured wrist when he was hit by a pitch. Springer has been wearing a protective brace for much of the time since he had the injury, and what's next will be determined by his next doctor's appointment.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Springer will be examined when the team returns home, which means later this week or early next week. If he's cleared by the doctor, Springer could slowly resume baseball drills and then would have to go on a Minor League rehab assignment.
"It's hard to tell even when [being cleared] occurs how long it's going to take because a lot of it is going to be him working through some discomfort, pain tolerance and other sorts of things," Luhnow said. "Just getting used to strengthening and deal with different feels. Hard to put a timeline on it, but clearly we all want him back as soon as possible."
Springer's presence has been missed in the lineup. He was hitting .264 with a .365 on-base percentage, 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 75 games. The Astros have gone 14-18 (entering Tuesday) since Springer suffered his injury July 1.
"I'm not a doctor so I don't know how to give a diagnosis on how he's doing," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I'm hopeful that the next appointment will tell us that we can progress into a little bit more baseball activity. He's got a lot of tests he's got to pass before we get too optimistic about what's ahead. I can tell you we're all hopeful."
Luhnow said when Springer finally does have his Minor League rehab assignment, it won't be an extensive one.
"I think a lot of that depends on how he's feeling and how he's responding," he said. "He's clearly been doing what he can to stay in shape and it's going to take a while to get back in the groove of his swings anyway. But we need him back. The shorter rehab the better, as far as I'm concerned."