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06/20/12 7:08 PM ET

Maxwell slated for MRI on sprained left ankle

Ongoing pain forced the outfielder from Wednesday's game

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday after leaving Wednesday's game against the Royals after four innings with a sprained left ankle.

Maxwell has been dealing with ankle discomfort for a month and already had the MRI scheduled before exiting the Astros' 2-1 loss. Maxwell said the ankle was "killing" him while he was running around center field on Wednesday and told manager Brad Mills to take him out of the game.

"Every time I hit, I kind of roll my ankle," said Maxwell, who went 0-for-2 at the plate. "I've done every avenue of treatment that I could so I could play. When it was bothering me [Wednesday] on defense, I knew something was wrong. That's why I said something to Millsie."

Maxwell, starting for the 13th time in the past 15 games, struck out and flied out to center before being replaced in center field by Jordan Schafer. After going 0-for-4 on Tuesday, Maxwell is now hitless in his last six at-bats.

Maxwell, claimed off waivers from the Yankees early in the season, has been starting more recently in center against left-handers while making occasional starts at the corner outfield spots. He was hitting .223 against lefties and .239 against right-handers entering play on Wednesday.

The Astros have endured a rash of injuries lately and currently have outfielders Travis Buck and Fernando Martinez on the disabled list. First baseman Carlos Lee returned from the DL on Sunday in Arlington.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com 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.