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What Every Astros Fan Needs to Know About Oblique Strains

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

LarryTheGM Note: When I have questions about injuries, I ask my son who is and ACTUAL BASEBALL ATHLETIC TRAINER. Unfortunately for us, during the college baseball season he is way too busy to write here. Today, I asked him to help you all understand what Oblique Strains are and what Astros fans can expect.

I will also add this. Joshua is giving you the framework here. Injury management is hard enough when one is directly working with the player. Each player is different and heals differently. Joshua is giving us some ideas about what TYPICALLY happens.

Today, we also found out Korey Lee ALSO has an Oblique Strain.

We are REALLY blessed when we can get Joshua to weigh in here. Yes, I am a proud father. I also know how incredibly smart and dedicated my son is. With no further ado, JoshuatheAT shares what you need to know.

An oblique strain is an injury to one of the 4 oblique muscles, located on the sides of your abdomen. You have a pair of oblique on the right and left side, and their function is to help your torso rotate as well as bend toward the right and left. Because of the function of the oblique is a muscle complex that is not commonly injured in most sports. However, due to the heavy rotational emphasis that pitching and hitting have, it is a prevalent injury in baseball. Before Altuve’s addition to the IL today there are 12 other players with the oblique injury designation. This unfortunately includes Yordan Alvarez who suffered an injury on June 8th.

So how long could Altuve and Yordan continue to be out for? Well like every injury it depends on the severity of the strain. Clearly, Yordan had a significant injury, as it looks like it could be 6-8 weeks until he is back in the lineup. It was reported he began swinging again in the cages, an encouraging step forward in his process. This would be the first step in a progression that eventually includes rehab starts and a return to the lineup. How long this process takes is totally dependent on how his body responds to the increased stress to the area. Astros fans know all too well that rehab can have setbacks, seen multiple times with Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr.

Jose Altuve is more uncertain as of now. He missed a pair of games in June with oblique soreness but clearly now has a more severe case. A 10-day IL stint is the first step, and the All-star break comes at an opportune time as this will help limit the number of games missed. All in all, I don’t think either is at risk of missing potential playoff games as long as both can rehab without setbacks. In 2017 a group of MLB team doctors found there was a 12% incidence of reinjury with oblique injuries with most happening in the same or season after the injury. Hopefully the Astros big bats avoid that and are back in the lineup for the push to the playoffs in the 2nd half of the season.

There you go folks. Given what is available, that is what we know now. We will keep you updated as things progress. Thank you, Joshua!

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