Injured Astros lefthander Framber Valdez resumed throwing on flat ground this week in what general manager James Click called a “tremendous step forward” on his journey back from a fractured left ring finger.

Valdez had not thrown since March 2, when he tried to field a Francisco Lindor ground ball with his pitching hand during a Grapefruit League game. A second opinion on the appendage determined no surgery was needed, leaving open the possibility that Valdez could return this season.