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05/23/09 4:10 PM ET

Young sidelined by sprained ankle

Rangers third baseman not expected to go on DL

HOUSTON -- Rangers third baseman Michael Young tried hard to get into the lineup, but couldn't go against the Astros in Saturday's game at Minute Maid Park.

Young is sidelined with a sprained right ankle that occurred in the first inning of Friday's game with the Astros, and Hank Blalock started at third base instead.

"Mike is smart," manager Ron Washington said. "He's not going to put us in jeopardy. If he can't go, he can't go. It's pretty swollen."

Second baseman Ian Kinsler was also out of the lineup, but Washington just wanted to give him a day off to help snap a 4-for-33 slump. Omar Vizquel started at second base.

Young had X-rays taken on Saturday morning, and they came back negative. Young showed up at Minute Maid Park on crutches, but was able to walk and test the ankle with a pregame workout on the field.

He just didn't feel comfortable enough to play the field. The plan was to have him undergo treatment during the game and possibly be available to pinch-hit if needed.

"It's tough because this is a National League park," Young said. "Hank and I can't just flip-flop so I can DH for a day. Hopefully this is one of those things where it can't get any worse. If it's just pain, I can take it."

The Rangers aren't sure when Young will be back in the lineup, but they don't expect him to go on the disabled list. He did not go on the disabled list last year even though he had to deal at times with small fractures in both of his ring fingers. He has never been on the disabled list in his career.

Young injured the foot in the first inning on Friday trying to get back to first base on a pickoff attempt. He stepped on first baseman Lance Berkman's foot and twisted the ankle.

"This is a good one," Young said. "Lance has big feet."

Young remained in the game and finished with three hits, leaving him sixth in the league in hitting with a .348 average. He is tied for third with 57 hits and the Rangers are about one-quarter of the way through the season.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.