Maxwell ditches brace, making progress

Maxwell ditches brace, making progress

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, who's been out nearly a month with a fractured left hand, is no longer wearing a brace and continues to make good progress. He hit 15 balls off a tee on Monday and took 30 more swing from soft toss.

Maxwell said he was still a little sore and is scheduled to have a routine X-ray on Tuesday.

"I've just been working with [assistant athletic trainer] Rex Jones, trying to figure out what kind of contraption I'm going to wear over the battling glove," Maxwell said. "I just need to protect the area."

Maxwell said team physician Dr. Tom Mehlhoff told him that even though the bone is healed, it won't be as strong as before and advised Maxwell to wear protection. He's not going to wear a Jeff Bagwell-like pad on top of his batting glove, choosing a hard plastic shield instead.

Meanwhile, infielder Ronny Cedeno was still battling a sinus infection and some weakness, but said on Monday that he was feeling better. Cedeno said he was fine to play after the weekend series against the Pirates with his illness.

"I'm going to try to practice [Monday] and work out, and see how I feel," he said.

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.