Matsui, Towles, Rodriguez mending

Number of Astros working on renewed health

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Second baseman Kazuo Matsui was released from The Methodist Hospital on Wednesday morning and will remain in Houston for the next several days as he begins his recovery from surgery to repair an anal fissure.

Matsui underwent the procedure on Monday. He'll be examined by colorectal surgeon Dr. Eric Haas next Monday, and at that point, he could be cleared to begin one week of light exercise.

Matsui is expected to miss two to three weeks, which means that he'll start the regular season on the disabled list.

Further on the injury front, catcher J.R. Towles, who hasn't played in a Major League game since straining a hamstring on March 8, will team with left-hander Wandy Rodriguez for one inning in a Class A game on Friday. Towles expects to play five or six innings in that game after catching Rodriguez in the opening frame.

Rodriguez, who has been sidelined with a strained oblique muscle, will follow that outing with a three-pitch stint during a Triple-A game on Sunday.

"It feels a little tight today," Rodriguez said on Wednesday, "but I think I'll be OK."

On Friday, Towles will be cleared to hit for the first time since he injured his hamstring, but he still has strict orders to not push too hard.

"They told me to go slow," Towles said. "I feel like I'm physically ready to go. I just can't run 100 percent. Other than that, that's the only thing holding me back."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.