Astros eyeing Tuesday for Springer's return

Astros eyeing Tuesday for Springer's return

HOUSTON -- The Astros are targeting Tuesday for the return of outfielder George Springer, who's been out since July 24 with a left quad strain. Springer has been running and taking batting practice and will run again Tuesday in Chicago before possibly being activated.

"We'll make a decision and determination on what is next," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Sunday. "Continued health, continued progress and a clean bill of health is key."

When asked Sunday if he would possibly play on Tuesday, a typically coy Springer said that was the goal.

"I've got some stuff I still gotta go do, so we'll see what happens," he said. "It feels good. I'm taking it day by day and just feeling better every day. I'm happy with it so far."

Entering Sunday, the Astros were 4-7 without both Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa (thumb surgery) in the lineup. Springer was having an MVP-worthy season, hitting .310 with a .384 on-base percentage, .590 slugging percentage, 27 homers and 66 RBIs before being injured.

Must C: Springer's leadoff HR

Meanwhile, relief pitcher Will Harris (right shoulder inflammation) will start a throwing program and continue to build up until he can get off the mound and eventually pitch in some Minor League rehab games. He hasn't pitched since July 5.

Infielder Colin Moran, who sustained a concussion and fractures when he fouled a ball off his face on July 22 and underwent surgery, rejoined the team in recent days, but is still a few weeks away from being able to play.

"It was great to see him," said Hinch, who hasn't ruled out Moran's return this year. "The guys were all interacting with him. He says he's feeling great."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.