ARLINGTON -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa exited Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers with a left ankle sprain. X-rays were negative, and he is considered day to day.
Correa was forced out of the game after his left ankle twisted awkwardly when he stepped on first base trying to beat out a ground ball in the fifth inning. The 21-year-old, who is hitting .256 with eight homers and 32 RBIs this season, coasted to a stop and sat down in right field, where manager A.J. Hinch and athletic trainer Jeremiah Randall rushed to examine him.
"When they go down to the ground and stay down on the ground, it's pretty scary from my perspective," Hinch said.
Fortunately for Houston, the situation wasn't as dire as it looked. Correa walked slowly off the field under his own power a few minutes later and the injury was not considered serious enough to send him to the disabled list.
"He'll be day to day," Hinch said.
Correa and the Astros feared the worst in part because in June 2014 as a Minor Leaguer he broke his right fibula and missed the rest of the season.
"I had an experience before where I hurt my ankle and I couldn't even walk. … I was scared when I touched the bag and then the pain was there," Correa said. "When I was able to stand up, I felt a lot better emotionally. I was able to walk, limping at least, and obviously it was not that bad."
Correa, who made his Major League debut one year ago Wednesday, led the Astros with a .857 OPS in 99 games last year and is one of only three Astros to play in 60 games in 2016. Hinch expects Correa to miss the next game, Friday on the road against the Rays, before being re-evaluated.
Hinch turned to second baseman Jose Altuve to fill in at short after Correa's injury. In his sixth Major League season, Altuve had never played shortstop before Thursday, but he and Hinch said he takes grounders there before virtually every game and was prepared. Tony Kemp replaced Correa in the lineup and played second.
"I take ground balls on a daily basis at shortstop," Altuve said. "It took me for a surprise, but I got a couple of ground balls and made the plays. It was kind of weird, though."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.