Things couldn't get much worse for the Astros in their final game in Anaheim. Jered Weaver pitched a complete game, holding the Astros to one run on two hits. Weaver hit George Springer with a pitch with one out in the ninth. He then proceeded to pick the Astros outfielder off at first. The burn from the pickoff was quickly forgotten as Springer began to limp off the field. You can watch the clip here, but you won't be able to recreate the panic that ran through Astros fans on twitter at that moment -
Video: Springer limps off field | MLB.com
5/21/14: George Springer limps off the field after being picked off on a close play at first base in the top of the 9th inning
Springer made a hard jolt back to the bag, and appeared to be favoring his knee. The update tweets were the only source of information at the moment -
Astros still in the dugout trying to see what's going on with Springer. He's bent over in pain in dugout.— Julia Morales (@JuliaMoralesCSN) May 22, 2014
Lots of Astros teammates still around Springer, trainer Rex Jones is there, manager Bo Porter, VIllar, Brock, others.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
The preliminary diagnosis was announced a short time later.
Right hip flexor strain for Springer. Luhnow says strength test better than anticipated. He will be evaluated tomorrow— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
Of course we turned to our resident doctor of physical therapy, Subber10, for a clarification of that diagnoses -
Hip flexors are a group of three muscles primarily. There are a few more but three primary ones. The tensor fascia lata (tfl) and a group of two known as the iliopsoas. The iliopsoas is a combination of the iliacus and psoas major. They are just referred to as one.
They flex the hip, or raise it toward the front for more generic phrasing.
When any muscle gets too much tension on it, it gets torn some. The amount of tearing determines the grade of a strain.
The news appeared to be on the less scary side of the spectrum after the media talked to Springer -
Springer: "Just gave out on me, I'll be alright. Just went to go back to the bag and it just went." Said pain had subsided— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
Springer said this has happened before. "I mean it's happened, but my body will bounce back." He said at least 3 times, "I'll be alright."— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
At this moment, it appears the Springer has dodged a bullet and may only need to ice down his knee and rest. We will have to wait and see when the team gets to Seattle for further updates. The Astros take on the Mariners Thursday at 9:10 p.m.