© 2005 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/23/05 7:45 PM ET

Jim Hickey pregame interview

Astros pitching coach comments on Clemens, rotation

What can you tell us about Roger's health status right now and his availability the rest of this series?

JIM HICKEY: Well, I can't tell you anything more about his health status right now than we did last night. I haven't spoken to the trainers yet or seen him today.

In terms of his availability right now we're going under the assumption that he's going to be able to pitch. And if that changes we'll make the adjustment when the time comes.

When was it apparent to you last night that he wasn't quite right?

HICKEY: When the ground ball was hit to Mike Lamb at first base with Carl Everett on third, when he turned to throw the ball to Adam at second base and Roger kind of -- he started toward first base and at one point kind of made a more severe move towards first base and I think it tweaked him a little bit right there. And the pitch immediately after that it appeared that he was favoring it a little bit.

What's it like being back in Chicago?

HICKEY: It's really something. It's tough to enjoy just because there's so much going on and you're focused so much on the next game and what you need to do. But just being from the city and born and raised here and not too far from here I used to come to Sox park, that was our ballpark. And it's been very nice, very nice to share it with the family and people I haven't seen in a long time. It's been a great experience.

Could you go over some -- I know you're operating under the assumption Roger will pitch, but can you talk at least philosophically about here's what you're thinking or here's plan A, plan B, plan C if he can't pitch?

HICKEY: I don't know that we have three plans, A, B and C yet. If Roger can't pitch on his scheduled day we'll pitch Ezequiel or Wandy. But we're not going to pull either one of those guys out of ballgames just in case that might happen, if they need to pitch on Tuesday, they'll pitch on Tuesday. And if one of them needs to pitch on Wednesday they'll pitch on Wednesday, and we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

If Roger doesn't start the ballgame I'm 99 percent sure you'll see Ezequiel or Wandy Rodriguez.

You could not shift into a three-day rest rotation with Pettitte, Oswalt, Backe, if Clemens were to be sidelined?

HICKEY: We absolutely could. And that could happen. As I sit here right now that seems a little improbable. It could happen, but I don't think that's what's going to happen. But things change real quick, especially if you find yourself in a hole. But I just don't think that would happen. It's not very probable right now.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.