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Injured Astros travel with club to Chicago

Injured Astros travel with club to Chicago

CHICAGO -- Three injured Astros were in the clubhouse before Friday's second-half opener against the White Sox, but by all indications, none of them will be back in the lineup by the time the team leaves Chicago.

Outfielders Dexter Fowler and Alex Presley and pitcher Collin McHugh are on the 15-day disabled list but traveled with the team to receive treatment for their injuries.

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Fowler, who sustained a right intercostal strain against the Braves on June 26, was eligible to return from the DL on Friday, though manager Bo Porter suggested Fowler likely won't be reinstated until next weekend's home series against the Marlins.

"I keep saying he'll be ready Friday. I don't know what Friday, but it's a Friday coming soon," Porter said. "The good thing is that he hasn't had a setback, so that's good news, that he continues to progress. He just hasn't progressed to the point where he's ready to get back on the field and go through full speed activity."

Fowler, who played in 76 of the Astros' 81 games before getting injured, has been a formidable addition to the lineup with a .270 average, six homers and 24 RBIs.

McHugh has been out with a right middle finger nail avulsion but worked a bullpen session on Friday, saying his finger "feels good." Porter said last week that McHugh would start Tuesday, though backtracked before Friday's game and said the rotation lineup hasn't been set past this weekend's series.

"We're going to let McHugh throw a bullpen [session] today with the trainers and see how that went then make a decision on the Oakland series after we get all that information," Porter said.

Added McHugh: "I'm looking forward to getting back out there on the hill and seeing hitters. I don't feel like I'm rushing. I feel good at this point."

Presley is the furthest away from a return, Porter said, after straining his right oblique on July 7, just as he was emerging as a potential starter in the outfield during Fowler's absence. Presley was hitting .252 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 70 games this season.

"I haven't done much physical activity. Today, I did more than I've done, but it still wasn't much," Presley said before Friday's game. "I just try to move, nothing strenuous, just to see how it feels. It felt OK, so we're going to progress tomorrow. … [The pain] can be severe at times and other times I don't notice it."

The Astros have shuffled Enrique Hernandez, Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes as backups across the outfield during Fowler's and Presley's absences. All three, who began the day hitting a combined .197 with 40 strikeouts, were in Friday's lineup, though Hernandez played at shortstop. George Springer started in center.

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

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