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News » Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-05-02
A day after having 20 cc's of blood drained from hematomas he developed in his strained right calf muscle, Astros closer Jose Valverde had over 40 cc's removed Friday in a procedure that required team physician Dr. David Lintner to make an incision in the leg.

There were no complications with the procedure on Valverde, who will need between three and five weeks to recover and is likely going to be out until late May or early June.

"It was a lot more than I anticipated it being," manager Cecil Cooper said. "I didn't think it was that serious until I saw it (Tuesday) and he showed me how swollen it was. I didn't think it was quite that serious. So this is a chance for other people to do what they need to do. They need to step up now."

Considering Valverde is likely to be on the disabled list for at least a month, the Astros will need LaTroy Hawkins to step up and close. Doug Brocail and other relievers also may get save opportunities.

"We'll try to go the same way with Hawkins and (Doug) Brocail possibly," Cooper said. "There might be some situations like the other night where Chris (Sampson) came in and got out of the eighth and pitched the ninth. There might be some situations where (Felipe) Paulino comes in, in the ninth and pitches an inning or pitches in the eighth and, if he's going real good, the ninth."

BRAVES 7, ASTROS 2: Mike Hampton couldn't get past the fifth inning, and that cost him the game in his return to the place he played from 2003 through 2008. Hampton, who exited with the bases loaded and only one out in the Braves' four-run fifth inning, gave up five hits and six runs (five earned) with two walks over 4 1/3 innings.

"I'm used to that," Hampton said of the reception. "Colorado, New York, it's just part of the game. I understand that. I just wish I had pitched a little better. I didn't have a whole lot (Friday night), which was pretty obvious."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2009

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