ROUND ROCK (KXAN) — Carlos Correa is set to make his return to the Astros’ lineup on Friday after a six-game rehab assignment with the Express.
“I feel great,” Correa said when asked about his health. “I feel great, excited to get back. One more game and then I finally get to reunite with my teammates.”
Correa has been out since late May when, according to him, he fractured a rib while receiving a massage.
In five games with Round Rock, Correa’s had two RBIs and scored one run on six hits, two doubles, one walk in 19 at bats. He’s also struck out five times.
“It’s hard, but it’s part of the process,” Correa said about rehabbing. “As athletes, we get hurt, we gotta focus on the rehab and get back on the field and try to be even better than we were before we got hurt. That’s been my main focus since I got hurt — do what I can control, get healthy, get back with the team and keep playing good baseball.”
The Astros have played well in Correa’s absence — winning seven of their last eight games and building a 7.5-game lead in the AL West.
“I’ve been paying attention to every single game, every single inning,” Correa said. “Whenever I’m playing, they’re playing, I’m looking at the box score right after the game. The guys are doing great. They’re rolling right now. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do and that’s winning ballgames. Today they had a great game, Altuve’s gotten going, which is a key part of our team. I’m just excited to get back and contribute.”
Once he does return to the big club at the end of the week, Houston will be back at full strength after a mid-season stretch where injuries ravaged the roster.
With that success without him, Correa’s thinking World Series or bust once he returns.
“We don’t wanna settle for anything less than another championship,” he said. “That’s the goal since we met in spring training. Second place is not an option for us.”
In the week or so since he’s been with the E-Train, though, Correa’s making the most of the situation.
“Austin is a great city, that’s where I’ve been staying,” Correa said. “Obviously, Round Rock, here, I feel is one of the best minor league ballparks there is. They have everything here. It’s a nice ballpark, it’s a nice ballpark, great playing surface, great fans. I’ve been loving every single minute that I’ve been spending in this ballpark.”
He’s also taken notice of the talent in Houston’s system. Playing alongside the likes of Kyle Tucker, Jack Mayfield and a slew of pitchers who’ve all seen time in the bigs, Correa had nothing but praise for his temporary teammates.
“There are guys here that are definitely ready [for the majors],” Correa said. “Obviously, we have a great team in the big leagues, so there’s not a lot of room — only 25 guys can make the roster, but there there’s a lot of guys here that are ready to compete at the big league level.”