HOUSTON -- Infielder Colin Moran, who sustained facial fractures and had to undergo surgery after he fouled a ball off his face on July 22 in Baltimore, returned to the Astros prior to Tuesday's 3-1 win after finishing his rehab assignment at Class A Quad Cities.
"I'm really thankful for the doctors here in Houston and the surgeons that performed on me," Moran said. "I just have to thank God for the quick recovery."
Moran's stock rose in the organization with a strong spring, followed by a breakout season at Triple-A in which he hit .308 with 15 doubles, 18 homers and 63 RBIs in 79 games. He hit his first career home run in his Astros debut on July 21, only to be injured the following day when a ball glanced off his bat on a check swing and struck him below the left eye.
"I was just hoping I could see again after it happened," he said. "Things changed every week for the most part, and luckily, they turned for good."
Moran doesn't remember much about the minutes immediately following the injury. There were some nerves and uncertainty, but when the doctors told him they could repair his face and that his vision was fine, he knew he would be OK.
"Once something almost gets taken away from you, you appreciate it a little bit more," he said. "I definitely appreciate being able to be on the field at any time."
Manager A.J. Hinch said that although Moran won't play much over the final two weeks of the regular season, the team wanted to reward him with a September call-up considering all he had been through.
"It's a cool story for Colin, and only he can really speak to some of the hurdles that he had to clear to get in the batter's box again against regular competition," Hinch said. "I'm proud of him. He's never wavered. The guys in A ball talked about his work ethic and talked about his desire to play every day and take as many at-bats.
"He's already taken a ball up and in, he's already fouled some balls off. He's not playing with any sort of carefulness, which is a good sign. ... There's not going to be a ton of at-bats for him, but [this is] an accomplishment that deserves [the] respect to be activated again."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.