Astros won't rule out return this season for Springer

Astros won't rule out return this season for Springer

HOUSTON -- With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Astros still aren't ruling out rookie outfielder George Springer getting back on the field at some point. Springer, who hasn't played since straining his left quad on July 19, has been taking batting practice, running the bases and doing drills in the outfield.

"It's just a day-to-day kind of thing and we'll see how it feels and how he reacts to what happens," interim manager Tom Lawless said. "We'll see what happens."

The Astros aren't going to play Springer until he's 100-percent healthy because they don't want him to have any setbacks like what happened last month when he went on a Minor League rehab assignment. Springer could pinch-hit, but the concern is running out of the box and the effect it would have on his quad.

"Do we want to risk putting him out there?" Lawless said. "If he's healthy and totally healthy, then we have no problem."

Meanwhile, veteran closer Chad Qualls was available for Monday's series opener against the Indians. He hadn't pitched Sept. 6, after straining a muscle on the right side of his hip. Lawless said starting pitcher Brad Peacock, who's dealing with a stiff back, could be plugged back into the rotation later this week.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.