KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Following morning workouts on Monday, Mike Hampton flew back to Houston after his electrocardiogram [EKG] test showed a "glitch," according to general manager Ed Wade.
The Astros feel this development is minor. Hampton was scheduled to visit team doctor Jim Muntz late Monday afternoon, at which time he would undergo a procedure to correct his heartbeat with the application of electrical current.
Hampton's condition was discovered by Dr. Michael Link during a routine physical taken on Saturday in Kissimmee.
"Mike had an irregularity in his heartbeat rhythm," said Dr. Link. "He's been sent to Houston to condense his evaluation and treatment so that he can return in as short a time as possible. Most likely, he will be at full speed when he returns, which could be by Thursday or Friday."
Wade appeared unalarmed by the results of Hampton's test.
"From what I understand, it's not an uncommon condition and it's not an uncommon procedure he's going to go through," Wade said. "They cleared him to work out today without problems. Other than travel time back and forth between here and Houston, we don't expect him to miss any time."
Dr. Link, who has been working with Astros players in Spring Training since the team moved to Kissimmee, said Hampton is in very good physical condition.
"He had no symptoms and was completely unaware of this," said Dr. Link. "How long he's had it is unknown, but it is less than a year. It did not show up at his physical last year during Spring Training."
Hampton was not scheduled to throw a bullpen Monday, after throwing back-to-back days when workouts began Saturday.
Unconventional health issues were somewhat of a theme on Monday. While pitchers and catchers made it through the day without the typical arm, elbow and hamstring aches and pains, Hampton and closer Jose Valverde certainly had their issues. Valverde left camp abruptly early in the morning with head athletic trainer Nate Lucero, in order to have an inflamed right forearm looked at.
Valverde was examined by Dr. Link, who discovered an infection on Valverde's arm, possibly from an insect bite.
The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, and Valverde returned to camp within an hour and rejoined his teammates on the back fields of Osceola County Stadium. Valverde was cleared to throw and the infection is not expected to hold him back from day-to-day Spring Training activities.
"I woke up today and my arm was like this, and I said, 'I have to check with the doctor or trainer,'" Valverde said. "The doctor said everything is good. It's just inflammation. It's not pain. It's more irritated, itchy. I'll probably be fine. I threw my bullpen, it's not sore or anything. It's fine."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.