Latest Jose Abreu injury update adds to Astros' health concerns heading into 2024

Stop us if you have heard this before, but Jose Abreu is hurt.

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

As good as the 2023 season was to the Houston Astros, one of the lowlights was the play of their premier free agent signing Jose Abreu. The Astros needed a power bat to lengthen their lineup before the start of last season and, on paper, Abreu was a perfect fit even though they had to pay up to sign him.

Sadly, that is not how things turned out. Hampered by back issues all season long, Abreu put up a decidedly not-Abreu season in 2023 with a .237/.296/.383 slash line and 18 homers, and that was with him bouncing back late in the year.

Over the course of the offseason, we have heard lots of rumblings about how the Astros were going to be taking precautions with Abreu in 2024 with regards to playing time and managing his workload overall. However, it looks like the injury bug has bitten Abreu again despite those precautions as he's dealing with knee soreness.

Jose Abreu's knee issues are not a great way to start his 2024 Astros comeback

The good news here is that Abreu's sore knee is considered to be very minor. We heard some of the same downplaying when Abreu's back was acting up initially last year, but the team is still saying that they are going to just give him a few days off and that he will be fine.

In a vacuum, a minor injury in spring training is nothing to worry about. Spring is exactly when teams can rest guys and let them heal from being banged up.

However, Abreu's situation cannot be evaluated in a vacuum. He's coming off a bad season where he was playing hurt and he's 37 years old. Players that have long-term/nagging injuries at that age don't just stop getting hurt nor do they often age like fine wine.

Abreu showed some signs of decline in Chicago, Houston placed their bet on him anyways, and now everyone is just going to have to deal with the fact that he may never be the guy he once was even if this knee issue ends up going away.

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