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09/15/12 7:40 PM ET

Gonzalez takes grounders as he nears return

HOUSTON -- Infielder Marwin Gonzalez, out since Aug. 31 with a torn ligament in his left ankle, has taken groundballs the last four days and said he could be ready to play in three to five days.

Gonzalez was hurt on Aug. 30 after stepping awkwardly on first base and lunging into the air. The Astros originally expected Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, to miss the rest of the season.

"I'm going to keep working and see how it feels," Gonzalez said.

Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said Gonzalez mentioned still having one sore spot in his left leg. Gonzalez was walking around the Astros clubhouse without a protective boot before Saturday's game.

"Hopefully, the next few days, we'll get him back," DeFrancesco said.

Gonzalez was hitting .234 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 201 at-bats. After Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list on July 15, Gonzalez started 33 of 43 games at shortstop.

With Lowrie's return, Greene gets less playing time

HOUSTON -- Shortstop Jed Lowrie's return to the lineup might mean a little less playing time for infielder Tyler Greene, who played nearly every day at shortstop while both Lowrie and Marwin Gonzalez were injured.

When Greene does see the field, he'll probably be filling in for regular second baseman Jose Altuve or third baseman Matt Dominguez.

Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco wants to give Altuve a few days off down the stretch, so Greene could see some time at second. DeFrancesco said Greene would start at second base in Sunday's series finale.

Greene could also play some third base when Dominguez needs a day off and shortstop if Lowrie feels sore. Greene playing in the outfield isn't too likely with the Astros carrying plenty of outfielders, but he has made appearances at all three outfield positions during his career.

"He's a utility guy," DeFrancesco said.

Entering Saturday, Greene was hitting .245 with six homers and eight RBIs in 102 at-bats with the Astros.

Worth noting

• To recognize the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Astros wore "Los Astros" jerseys on Saturday. The team's Latin American players and American-born players with Hispanic heritage were recognized before the game. The first 10,000 fans received "Los Astros" t-shirts.

• Class A Advanced Lancaster is one win away from the California League title. The JetHawks square off with Modesto at "The Hangar" in Lancaster on Saturday night. They lead the best-of-five series, 2-0, after Friday's 11-2 victory.

• The Astros aren't doing anything special to relieve Bud Norris' blister problem. Norris was originally set to start Friday, but the Astros decided to skip him. He will start Thursday in St. Louis.

"This has been going on for his last three starts," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "Every time, there's been an issue. Every time we keep talking about it. Finally we said, 'OK, let's give him time off. Let him skip a complete start and be ready to go."

• Reliever Mickey Storey, who was hit on the right side of his face with a line drive on Thursday, was available to pitch on Saturday.

Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.