Jose Altuve walks out of the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals with a hand injury

Venezuela second baseman Jose Altuve was knocked out in the fifth inning of Saturday night’s 9-7 loss to the United States when a 95.9 mph fastball from Daniel Bard hit the eight-time All-Star in his right hand . Details on the severity of Altuve’s injury were not immediately available, but he was evaluated after leaving the game shortly after he returned to his feet.

The loss knocked Venezuela out of the World Baseball Classic, and the Astros will provide an update Sunday. Altuve was unavailable to reporters after the game.

“Obviously, I’m deeply concerned, saddened and frustrated,” said Omar L√≥pez, Venezuela coach and Astros first-base coach. “I would like to express my feelings differently, but I have to be strong in front of you, in front of my family, in front of my country. Let’s wait a few days.”

Altuve, entering his 13th season with the Astros, is a .307/.362/.468 career player and former AL MVP. Venezuela were 5-3 down at the time of Altuve’s injury but later recovered within bounds to make up the deficit. The USA rallied in the eighth inning when Trea Turner defeated a grand slam to give the Americans the final lead and hand Venezuela their first loss of the tournament.

“I hope everything’s okay,” said Ryan Pressly, US volunteer and Astros teammate. “[Altuve’s] a big part of our lineup in Houston. He’s also an incredible teammate. So just hope everything is ok and I’m sure I’ll get the news later tonight or tomorrow morning.”


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