Houston Astros star Jose Altuve in the lineup for 1st time in 2023 after breaking thumb

The second baseman from Venezuela began a rehab assignment a week prior to his expected return on Friday.

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Saturday, May 20, 2023
Jose Altuve back in Astros' leadoff spot after missing 1st 43 games
The Houston Astros announced Jose Altuve's return to the team on Friday when they host the Oakland A's. The second baseman missed the first 43 games.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jose Altuve returned to make his 2023 season debut on Friday night when his Houston Astros began a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics.

The star second baseman did not play in the Astros' first 43 games due to recovery from surgery to fix a broken right thumb suffered in the World Baseball Classic back on March 18.

The prognosis at the time, according to 'Stros general manager Dana Brown, called for an eight-week recovery, which kept him out of opening day and multiple games thereafter.

Utility player Mauricio Dubon filled in at second base during Altuve's absence, producing admirably for the team and boasting at one point a 20-game hit streak.

The team was primed for Altuve's return in the days prior. He took rehab assignments in Sugar Land and Corpus Christi over the last week.

Houston (24-19) is two games back from the first-place Texas Rangers in the American League West after a recent three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs.