Josh Hamilton ready to swing off tee

Updated: May 4, 2011, 1:04 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

SEATTLE -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to swing a bat off a tee on Wednesday, one week ahead of schedule. Hamilton, who sustained a small fracture in his upper right arm in Detroit on April 12, wasn't supposed to swing a bat for a month after the injury. But he's been progressing, taking swings with his left hand and will now take full swings off a tee.

The club has set no timetable for his return. He was expected to miss six to eight weeks because of the injury. Hamilton is not on the current road trip with the team and remains on the disabled list. He has been running the bases, lifting weights, playing catch and even shagging some fly balls in the hopes of returning as soon as possible.

"Everything's gone according to plan so far," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Josh is in a good state of mind and the arm continues to get better. He'll keep progressing with the rehab that [team physician] Keith [Meister] and [head athletic trainer] Jamie [Reed] laid out. It's too early to narrow down a date for his return, but we're definitely heading in a good direction and it's reasonable to assume he'll be back within the original time frame."

Hamilton, last year's 2010 AL MVP, was hitting .333 with no homers and seven RBIs when he was injured on a headfirst slide at home plate in Detroit. Hamilton was frustrated with the play shortly after it occurred, but has since put all his energies toward returning. The club entered Tuesday 7-12 in Hamilton's absence, the fourth-lowest mark in the majors in that span behind the White Sox, Twins and Padres.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

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