Astros' Altuve suffers broken thumb at World Baseball Classic

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[March 20, 2023]  (Reuters) - Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will have surgery in the "upcoming days" for a fractured right thumb suffered when he was hit by a pitch during a World Baseball Classic game, the World Series champions said on Sunday. 

Mar 18, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Venezuela second baseman Jose Altuve (27) reacts after getting hit by a pitch during the fifth inning against the USA at LoanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The eight-times Major League Baseball All-Star, who won his second World Series title with the Astros last November, exited Venezuela's quarter-final against the United States on Saturday after he was struck by a pitch in the fifth inning.

The Astros, who open their regular season on March 30 and are among the World Series favourites, did not give a timetable for Altuve's return, saying in a statement that they will have an update on his prognosis following the surgery.

According to some reports, Altuve could be out for at least two months.

"It's a massive blow," Astros General Manager Dana Brown said in a report on the World Baseball Classic website.

"Right now, there's no timeline because the doctor's got to go in and get this deal done. It's unfortunate that it is a fracture that was revealed by the MRI and he's going to have to have surgery on it."

Altuve, who was named American League Most Valuable Player in 2017, had a .300 batting average in 2022 along with 57 RBIs, 28 home runs and a team-high 158 hits.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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