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Astros Injury Notes: McCullers and Kemp Removed from Game

Lance will return to Houston for evaluation

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Lance McCullers Jr. will fly to Houston for further evaluation after experiencing right elbow stiffness in last night’s game against the Dodgers.

According to Lance, he began to feel stiffness as he was pitching in the 4th inning. The issue would persist while taking his warm up pitches for the fifth, causing AJ to pull him and send him for further evaluation.

It is unclear if Lance will need a DL stint and the team hasn’t announced one at this time, but I would assume the Astros will exercise caution. If he misses his next start it will mark the first time in 2018 that a starter has missed a game. It also is unfortunate timing as Lance would surpass his career high of innings pitched in a season (now at 126) before being removed from the game.

Tony Kemp was also removed from the game in late innings when he was struck in the ankle by a John Axford fastball. He would limp to first base before being pulled for Jake, but looked to be in a lot of pain. Kemp is day-to-day as of this writing.

The possible injury for Lance comes at a time when Houston already has several players on the shelf:

Correa (lower back) is currently in a rehab assignment in AA and could return soon, but the official word is that he’ll be reassessed after another rehab game.

Altuve (right knee) is eligible to return from the DL today, but Hinch has stated that he will not be activated and will probably miss the rest of the road trip.

Chris Devenski (left hamstring) also just recently hit the DL for the first time in his career. Timing for his return is also up in the air as roster spots are at a premium until they expand in September and will most likely depend on if Lance hits the DL or not.

Brian McCann (right knee) continues to rehab from knee surgery. He’s currently travelling with the team and has gotten into a catcher’s squat recently. No announcement has been made, but he will most likely need a rehab assignment before returning to the MLB level.