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Astros’ Yuli Gurriel out 5-6 weeks after hand surgery

The Astros will be without their first baseman to start the season after he underwent surgery on his left hand.

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Astros’ first baseman Yuli Gurriel underwent left hand surgery to have the hamate bone removed and is expected to miss five to six weeks, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow called the surgery a “common baseball injury” and indicated that the injury was pre-existing, even dating back a few years. Luhnow also placed a six-week timetable on his return to being fulling recovered, though that number could vary a little bit. Nonetheless, the Astros expect Gurriel to open the season on the DL. It is worth noting that once Gurriel is to be activated, he will also have to serve a five-game suspension from an incident during the World Series.

The 33-year-old Cuban born first baseman had a very productive year in 2017 hitting to a .299/.332/.486 slash line with 18 homers, 75 RBIs, and 43 doubles in 139 games when he became a full-time starter for the World Champion Houston Astros. He established himself as a force in the middle of a young Astros lineup. In his absence, expect the Astros to look to former second-round pick A.J. Reed or Tyler White to fill in at first base.