Hamilton to DH in Double-A on Monday
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Hamilton, who last played May 31, will lead off and get as many at-bats as possible for the RoughRiders on Monday night in their last game before the Double-A All-Star break.
Hamilton, who had surgery June 9, will then work out with the Rangers on Tuesday. If all goes well, he will join Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday in Iowa and play multiple games there, including in the outfield.
"There have been no setbacks," Daniels said. "It has been a positive rehab so far."
Daniels said Hamilton took another round of batting practice Sunday before the Rangers played San Diego. Hamilton also ran the bases again, and even slid into bases.
Hamilton could rejoin the Rangers as early as next weekend against Toronto, in their final home series before the All-Star break. Texas then plays seven games on the West Coast before the break.
Doctors assured Daniels that Hamilton could begin playing in games, telling the GM that football and hockey players with the same injury return to action in the same timeframe.
Without Hamilton in their lineup, the Rangers will have a losing record in June and have lost their lead in the AL West. They were 10-13 in June going into Sunday night's game against San Diego, and a game behind the Los Angeles Angels after leading by as many 5 1/2 games before Hamilton's second DL stint.
Hamilton got hurt when he crashed into an outfield wall making a catch May 17. That came less than a week after he came off an earlier stint on the disabled list because of a strained ribcage muscle sustained when he crashed into another wall on another catch.
Hamilton, who hit .304 with 32 homers and an AL-high 130 RBIs last season, is hitting .240 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 35 games this season.
Even though he has missed more than half the season, Hamilton was still third in All-Star voting among AL outfielders in the most recent balloting update. The voting ends this week.
Hamilton has said he will play in the July 14 All-Star game in St. Louis if elected by fans as a starter.
In his first All-Star appearance last year, Hamilton hit a record 28 homers in the first round of the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, including 13 in a row. He would skip the derby this time.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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