HOUSTON -- Jose Valverde flew to South Florida on Wednesday to seek a second opinion on the right calf strain that has sidelined him since April 27.
The closer had a large amount of fluid drained from the leg soon after he suffered the injury, and while he is progressing and could be close to beginning a running program, his agent informed assistant GM David Gottfried that Valverde would like to be examined by Dr. John Uribe, a physician at the UHZ Sports Medicine Institute.
"We talked about him seeing a specialist here in Houston, but their preference was to see Dr. Uribe," general manager Ed Wade said, adding that the club was agreeable to the request. "The agent has a familiarity with him."
Why the need for a second opinion?
"He's had some discomfort," Wade said. "Our doctors feel that's just part of the healing process from having the incision, and all that fluid drained. But he just wants to confirm that with someone else. We're wide open if a player wants a second opinion."
Valverde is expected to rejoin the Astros in Houston on Saturday. He's still several weeks from being activated from the DL, however.
"[Head athletic trainer] Nate [Lucero] thinks he's very close to being able to start running, and once he shows he's capable of running, then we'll get him up on the mound and try to move him forward from there," Wade said. "I think we're still talking about several weeks before he's pitching in a big league game."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.