Altuve, Villar start despite nursing injuries

Altuve, Villar start despite nursing injuries

Altuve, Villar start despite nursing injuries

ARLINGTON -- Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve were both in the Astros' starting lineup on Monday night, as they're both dealing with nagging injuries. Villar has a sprained left thumb, which affects the switch hitter's swing when batting from the left side. With right-hander Matt Garza on the mound for the Rangers, Villar said he feels fine.

Villar said it might take at least a week for the thumb to be fully healed. He was pushing his thumb against a Play-Doh like substance in the clubhouse to strengthen it. Astros manager Bo Porter hasn't decided on whether Villar will start for the rest of the series with Texas, which will start left-handed pitchers Travis Blackley and Derek Holland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Altuve was back at second base, as he started as the designated hitter on Sunday to help deal with soreness in his left quadriceps. He went 0-for-4 with an RBI in the 7-5 win over the Angels.

"I've been dealing with this a couple days, but now I feel really good," Altuve said. "Now, I'm just ready to go outside and play a game."

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.