Gonzalez takes grounders as he nears return

Gonzalez takes grounders as he nears return

HOUSTON -- Infielder Marwin Gonzalez, out since Aug. 31 with a torn ligament in his left ankle, has taken groundballs the last four days and said he could be ready to play in three to five days.

Gonzalez was hurt on Aug. 30 after stepping awkwardly on first base and lunging into the air. The Astros originally expected Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, to miss the rest of the season.

"I'm going to keep working and see how it feels," Gonzalez said.

Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said Gonzalez mentioned still having one sore spot in his left leg. Gonzalez was walking around the Astros clubhouse without a protective boot before Saturday's game.

"Hopefully, the next few days, we'll get him back," DeFrancesco said.

Gonzalez was hitting .234 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 201 at-bats. After Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list on July 15, Gonzalez started 33 of 43 games at shortstop.