Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro didn't really enjoy being forced to miss 17 games over the past couple of weeks, but a strained right quad didn't give him much of a choice.

The Astros went 6-11 in those contests without his services, so the team must have been happy to have him back when he was activated on Thursday.

Though Houston lost the game to seal the four-game sweep at the hands of the suddenly first-place Texas Rangers, Castro expressed a sense of relief about finally making his return.

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"To be able to not contribute at all on the field and just having to watch, it's not fun for any competitive person," he told MLB.com's Chandler Rome. "To finally be back and to be able to help the team, that's what I'm most excited for."

Manager A.J. Hinch also seems glad to have Castro back. In his absence, the club relied upon Hank Conger and Max Stassi, but Castro has a track record and rapport with the pitching staff: "Getting Jason back in the lineup brings a lot of presence back behind the plate," Hinch told Rome. "How he handles the pitching staff, the catch-throw ability. He was swinging a good bat when he went down in Minnesota."

With the Astros now in serious need of getting back on track and, they hope, wrestling the AL West back from the Rangers, Castro will do what he can to contribute behind the plate and with the bat.

(h/t MLB.com)