Correa feeling 'a lot better' after ankle sprain

Shortstop could play later in Astros-Rays series

Correa feeling 'a lot better' after ankle sprain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was out of the lineup Friday with a left ankle sprain, but manager A.J. Hinch has kept open the possibility that the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year will play sometime in the next two days.

Correa left the Astros' loss to the Rangers on Thursday at Globe Life Park when the ankle twisted in an awkward way as he stepped on first base trying to beat out a ground ball in the fifth inning. He walked off the field under his own power, and he noticed improvement in his condition Friday before Houston opened a three-game series against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

"He's doing fine," Hinch said. "I think he's stiff and sore as you would be when you sprain your ankle. But he was in good spirits when I talked to him. I think he felt a little better than he even expected to. But I didn't even give him an option to do anything today. He's going to take the day off and rest and recover, because he's getting rounds of treatment to keep the swelling out of his ankle. But we're optimistic we have a chance to maybe see him this series. We have an off-day coming Monday, so we'll see how the next couple days go. But there's a little bit of a sigh of relief that he woke up feeling better than anticipated."

Correa said he was feeling "a lot better" on Friday after receiving treatment. However, he said his ability to run is limited. Marwin Gonzalez, who has made a season-high 20 starts at first base this year, started at shortstop in Correa's place Friday.

"We'll see how it works out," Correa said. "I've still got to go out there and be able to run without any problems. Right now I feel like I cannot run just yet. We'll see how I wake up tomorrow.

"There's pain. There is soreness, obviously, the way my ankle turned. ... Today it feels a lot better than yesterday. Yesterday, it was really sore. I could barely walk. Today, I can walk normally. It's tough to run right now, but we'll see how it goes tomorrow."

Correa is hitting .256 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs this season. He has hit .278 with five RBIs in 36 June at-bats.

"If he's in jeopardy, I'm not going to play him this series, but I don't want to give up Saturday or Sunday," Hinch said. "He's probably not going to play at all today, then tomorrow we'll re-evaluate when he gets here. He'll do a little bit of baseball activity, move around a little bit and tape his ankle and see where it takes him. But I'm not going to risk anything during the series."

Andrew Astleford is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.