Carlos Lee rejoined the Astros on Tuesday after a delayed arrival in Cincinnati. He had remained back in Houston for an extra day because of tests he underwent on a painful rib-cage bruise he sustained in his collision with shortstop Angel Sanchez on Sunday.
Asked if he felt a return was imminent, Lee simply shook his head and said it was still too sore. There was some relief, however, apparent in his first public comments since taking a knee to the left side of the rib cage.
"The best thing that happened was that there was nothing broken," Lee said before the Astros' 10-4 win over the Reds. "I've had some pain before, but that's way up there on the scale. It felt like somebody was pushing everything from the inside out. It was a sharp pain."
While neither he nor manager Brad Mills would pinpoint a targeted return date, it will likely be several more days until he comes back. Lee anticipates throwing being more difficult than swinging because of the torque involved in the precise location of the injury.
"We're going to make sure that he can do everything, running, fielding, throwing, before we look at him to be put back in the lineup," Mills said.
Lee also discussed his recollection of the play that caused him to be carted off the field on Sunday against the Brewers after homering and perhaps breaking out of an almost season-long slump.
"We both felt like we had a chance to catch it," Lee said. "If I had gone straight in, you'd probably be talking to Sanchez instead of talking to me right now. I saw his shadow coming and I slid away from him."
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