Astros second baseman Altuve to miss at least two months following thumb surgery

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The Houston Astros' eight-time All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve will be out of action for at least two months following surgery on his fractured right thumb.

Altuve sustained the injury playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic last Saturday after being struck on the thumb from a pitch by the United States' Daniel Bard.

The Astros confirmed in a statement that the second baseman had undergone surgery and subsequently will not resume baseball activities at least two months.

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"Altuve will remain in Houston since Spring Training is in its final week," the Astros statement said. "The Astros ballclub is set to fly to Houston following their Florida Spring Training game on Sunday in West Palm Beach."

The 2023 MLB season commences next Thursday, with the Astros opening their campaign against the Chicago White Sox.

Altuve was a key part of Houston's 2022 World Series-winning team, hitting .300 with 28 home runs, 39 doubles, 18 steals and 103 runs while earning his sixth Silver Slugger Award and finishing fifth in AL MVP voting.

The 32-year-old won the 2017 AL MVP – the same year he helped the Astros win the franchise’s first World Series championship.

Among active players, Altuve ranks seventh in hits (1,935), eighth in doubles (379) and 12th in runs (986).

He was the second MLB All-Star to suffer a serious injury at the World Baseball Classic after New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz tore his patellar tendon, ruling him out for the entire season.