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Stassi to have MRI; Ambriz closer to return


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros catcher Max Stassi was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia on Tuesday to be examined by Dr. William Meyers and undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday.

Stassi, who was acquired from the Oakland A's in the Jed Lowrie trade on Feb. 4, has been bothered by an oblique injury for quite a while, and the Astros fear he has a sports hernia.

"I'll hopefully get some good news," Stassi said. "Worst-case, a sports hernia puts me out four to six weeks. That will set me back a little bit, but I can move forward from there. I'm in good spirits. I just want to clear up what's been nagging me."

Meanwhile, right-hander Hector Ambriz, who sprained his left ankle two weeks ago, was set to play catch Tuesday and throw live batting practice in the next few days. That will be his final hurdle before getting into a game.

"I can't wait, especially now that the games have started and watching everybody out there and compete," Ambriz said. "It's baseball season and I want to get out there and pitch. I feel like I'm healthy enough to pitch. They know that, but they're taking it slow, which is smart. I'll be ready in a couple of days."

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