Quick-healing Maxwell returns to the lineup

Quick-healing Maxwell returns to the lineup

SAN FRANCISCO -- Not long ago, Justin Maxwell was facing the possibility of surgery on his left ankle and a two-month rehab. But on Friday night, he was in the middle of the Astros' lineup after less than three weeks on the disabled list, saying he feels "100 percent."

Maxwell, who was activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's second-half opener against the Giants, made it back quickly because doctors determined there was a non-surgical treatment for the loose bodies in his ankle. He may need surgery eventually, though.

"It depends," Maxwell said. "If I'm totally pain free I may not have it all, but if it comes back and bothers me, we'll address it."

For now, he feels great.

"Before, it hurt every time I swung the bat," he said, "but I didn't feel anything at all during my rehab stint."

The Astros are thrilled to have Maxwell back. The outfielder hit eight homers in just 121 at-bats before he was hurt. He was batting in the No. 3 spot on Friday.

"When he's played he's shown some pop," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He can do some things for us. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Getting a guy like that in the lineup is a definite benefit."

Mills said Maxwell will get some playing time against right-handed pitchers, too. On Friday, he faced Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.