Gattis progressing; status for OD unclear

DH working way back after surgery to repair sports hernia

Gattis progressing; status for OD unclear

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Evan Gattis' status for Opening Day remains unclear more than five weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The Astros' designated hitter is taking part in Minor League Spring Training games, but he is only doing so from the batter's box as he's still restricted from running.

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The original prognosis was that Gattis would be out four to six weeks. Manager A.J. Hinch said he's pleased with Gattis' progress, but he admitted that the club is still unsure when he will be healthy enough to fully participate.

"Obviously, the start of the season is getting closer and closer, so we'll have to gauge his schedule," Hinch said. "But right now, we just want to continue for him to take a step forward every day. He's done a pretty good job. We're going to start pushing him more this week with a little more intensity."

Gattis had been doing drills to reintroduce himself to catching before the surgery, which would have come in handy with projected backup Max Stassi now also out for four to six weeks after undergoing left hamate surgery Monday. That, however, is on the backburner as Gattis and the Astros focus on getting his bat ready for Opening Day.

Worth noting
• The Astros are off Saturday, but left-hander Dallas Keuchel (Triple-A) and closer Ken Giles (Double-A) are slated to get their work in during Minor League games.

• Houston has yet to finalize its roster for the two-game series in Mexico City March 26-27, but Hinch said second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, outfielders Jake Marisnick and Preston Tucker and infielders Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Valbuena are scheduled to make the trip. Right-hander Will Harris is the only Major League pitcher who will travel.

Non-roster invitees Chris Devenski and Brady Rodgers will start the two games, respectively.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.