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Maxwell sees concussion specialist, passes tests

Astros outfielder to work out Thursday, likely to rejoin lineup Friday

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell ranked the concussion he suffered during Tuesday's opener against the Cardinals as the third-worst he's had in his life. The good news is he's only had three, and this recent one was the least alarming.

Maxwell, who face-planted while diving for a ball in the outfield in the fourth inning, saw a concussion specialist on Wednesday shortly before game time. He passed a series of tests and will work out at Minute Maid Park on Thursday morning just to make sure he doesn't have any lingering effects from the incident.

It's likely he'll be back in the lineup on Friday when the Astros open a three-game series with the Angels.

"I have a mild headache right now," said Maxwell, asked repeatedly by reporters before the game to gauge the pain. "This is very mild compared with the previous two."

The most severe happened while he was in college. He collided with a fellow outfielder and was knocked out cold, and needed around five days to recover. The second occurred during Spring Training in 2007. He was hit in the head by a pitch and was sidelined at least two days.

This one was different, in that he landed mostly on his forehead and he was completely coherent when head athletic trainer Nate Lucero and manager Bo Porter raced to where he was laying in the outfield.

"I had to actually go look at the replay to see how hard he actually banged it," manager Bo Porter said. "Normally you dive, your body kind of gives a little bit. This was a stick. Anytime that happens, you're going to be extremely concerned."

After answering a few initial test questions correctly -- including an "I don't know" response as to what day it is ("It's tough to answer that question," Maxwell said. "It's like Groundhog Day") -- the outfielder walked off the field without needing assistance. He was given more eye and balancing tests, which, according to Maxwell, "were rough yesterday. But today, I did a lot better."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.
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