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Maxwell available off bench in opener

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion after his face hit the ground while diving for a ball on Tuesday, was cleared to play by doctors on Friday, but manager Bo Porter gave him an extra day, which is his practice.

Maxwell said he passed the impact test Thursday, the same test he failed on Wednesday. The test compares the players' ability to recognize and recall words and shapes based on a baseline test they took during Spring Training.

"It's pretty tedious," Maxwell said. "You have to sit in front of the computer and do a bunch of word recollections. It shows you a list of 20 words, and it shows you them twice and you have to recall which words were on the list and which were not. There's a bunch of shapes like arrows and circles, and you have to say whether or not you saw it previously.

"There's some other tasks in there, and at the end you recall the first group of words again and other shapes. I passed."

Porter likes to give players an extra day off when they're cleared to play following an injury.

"Especially when you're talking about a head injury," he said. "He passed all the tests and is available tonight if the game situation dictates. I'd rather give him a day to come out and run around and take batting practice and make sure everything is OK."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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