Maxwell sidelined 4-6 weeks by left hand fracture

Maxwell sidelined 4-6 weeks by left hand fracture

BOSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, who fractured his left hand on Tuesday, is expected to be out four to six weeks, the team announced Friday.

Maxwell, 29, fractured the fifth metacarpal of his left hand but does not require surgery. He is currently in a splint. Maxwell started the Astros' first 20 games in center field and played every inning this year before exiting Tuesday's game against Seattle after the fourth inning.

"That's good news. They say four to six weeks, but he'll be able to swing within the four-week frame and in six weeks he's back playing," said manager Bo Porter.

"Whenever you see something like that and you hear fracture, it could always be worse. That's encouraging news, and four to six weeks of the baseball season, you take that over a long, extended absence."

Meanwhile, the Astros announced left-handed pitcher Rudy Owens, who is on the 40-man roster and currently assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, has been sidelined with a stress fracture of his left foot that will require surgery. He will miss up to five months.

Owens, 25, will have surgery in Houston on Monday. Following the procedure, he will be in a walking boot for approximately six weeks. Owens made four appearances for Oklahoma City this season, posting a 3.71 ERA.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.