Josh Hamilton rides out muscle spasms

Updated: September 24, 2010, 9:09 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said Friday that his slightly fractured ribs feel fine, but his biggest concern is the lattisimus dorsi muscle in his side which he said is tight.

After he worked out Thursday, Hamilton felt the muscle spasm while he was in the dugout shortly after the game against the Oakland Athletics started. He said it didn't calm down until about 4:30 a.m., when he was finally able to get some sleep.

"I can't play with it if it spasms," Hamilton said. "I can't even move when it does it."

Hamilton said the Rangers' trainers and doctors have told him the muscle spasms will stop when the ribs improve enough to where that muscle isn't trying to protect them.

The majors' leading hitter has a .361 batting average and 31 home runs and 97 RBIs but hasn't played since Sept. 4, when he crashed into the right-center field wall making a catch in Minnesota.

The AL MVP candidate, who did some light running Friday, said he may try some twisting and turning to see how the ribs and lat feel Saturday. It's unclear as to when he might pick up a bat and resume baseball activities.

Hamilton did say he could feel a little pain in his ribs after running on Friday and found that putting his arms over his head helped ease the discomfort.

In the meantime, Hamilton is trying to encourage his teammates.

"I'm trying to keep their spirits up and be in the dugout as much as I can," Hamilton said. "I don't know what else to do. I'd much rather be out there swinging and helping rather than just talking."

The Rangers' magic number to clinch the AL West is four. They would win the division with two wins over the Athletics this weekend.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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