HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The countdown to an Astros return is underway.
Starting pitcher Luis Garcia underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, also known as Tommy John, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the 2023 season and an unknown portion of 2024.
The ball club announced that the 26-year-old underwent the procedure on Friday, exactly 18 days after his final start of the season in an eight-pitch outing against San Francisco.
The Astros noted this is the Venezuelan native's first stint on the injured list in his Major League career.
Garcia is the latest Astros starting pitcher forced to confront the potentially career-altering operation.
Former Astros ace Justin Verlander famously ended his 2020 season after one start and didn't play for the entirety of 2021 due to recovering from it, only to bounce back in 2022 to win another American League Cy Young Award.
Current Astro, Lance McCullers Jr., also underwent a Tommy John procedure before the 2019 season. He returned in time for the 2020 postseason. He's currently on the 15-day injured list with a forearm injury but may soon return to the team.
Garcia's last start came a day after platoonmate Jose Urquidy left his start against Philadelphia with reported right shoulder inflammation. Urquidy remains on the 15-day IL as well.
Earlier Friday, the ball club announced Jose Altuve's reinstatement with the team after he missed the first 43 games recovering from a broken right thumb.