Valverde now out three to five weeks

Valverde now out three to five weeks

ATLANTA -- Jose Valverde had in excess of 40 cc's of fluid drained from his right calf on Friday, and while the procedure was successful, his estimated recovery time increased. Instead of being ready to pitch in three weeks, the Astros are now saying the pitcher will be out for three to five weeks.

That means Valverde, while eligible to come off the disabled list on May 12, is likely out until June.

What does this mean for the bullppen?

The plan is the same -- LaTroy Hawkins will receive the majority of the save opportunities, but manager Cecil Cooper isn't opposed to using a closer-by-committee method when Hawkins needs a day off.

Cooper named Doug Brocail and Chris Sampson as closer options. The newest member of the 'pen, Felipe Paulino, could factor in as well.

"But Hawk will be the first option," Cooper said.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.