The Astros plan to activate Valdez (finger) from the 10-day injured list and have him start Friday's game against the Padres, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Houston will get two starters back from the IL this weekend, as Jake Odorizzi (forearm) will be reinstated ahead of Saturday's game. Valdez, meanwhile, will take the rotation spot that belonged to Lance McCullers, who was placed on the IL on Wednesday with a sore shoulder that manager Dusty Baker believes is a short-term concern. The Astros will have some tough decisions to make with their rotation once McCullers is back in the fold, but Valdez should be in good shape to hold down a permanent spot after he delivered a 3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 70.2 innings in 2020. The 27-year-old looked like he would be at risk of missing most of 2021 when he fractured the ring finger on his throwing hand in spring training, but he progressed more rapidly in his recovery than expected and was able to build up for starting duty in just under three months. Valdez covered four innings and tossed 54 pitches in his final rehab start for Triple-A Sugar Land on Sunday, so he could be capped at around 75 pitches in his season debut for Houston.

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