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Halos' Hamilton to start working out Friday

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was back at the ballpark for the first time on Monday, three days after undergoing thumb surgery that's expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks.

Hamilton will have his stitches removed on Friday, while also getting the hard cast around his left thumb replaced with a splint. He can't do any rehab with his surgically repaired thumb until May 2, but he can start running, lifting, swinging off a tee with his bottom hand -- the most important hand for a hitter -- and "doing all the things I need to do to keep in shape" once he gets the stitches removed.

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ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was back at the ballpark for the first time on Monday, three days after undergoing thumb surgery that's expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks.

Hamilton will have his stitches removed on Friday, while also getting the hard cast around his left thumb replaced with a splint. He can't do any rehab with his surgically repaired thumb until May 2, but he can start running, lifting, swinging off a tee with his bottom hand -- the most important hand for a hitter -- and "doing all the things I need to do to keep in shape" once he gets the stitches removed.

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Hamilton, who got back to about 240 pounds over the offseason, isn't concerned about losing muscle during his rehab, saying: "It's only a week, and then I'll get my stitches out and I'll be able to start doing leg workouts and body workouts. You can do a lot of stuff without gripping a barbell, so I don't see that being a problem."

The 32-year-old won't travel with the team on its upcoming three-city trip through Detroit, Washington and New York, and the Angels are planning to have Hamilton go to Arizona to do some baseball activities while they're in Toronto from May 9-11.

"I'm not going to put a time frame on it," Hamilton said of his recovery. "I'm just going to do what I need to do, as far as listening to the doctor, in terms of keeping it stable for the first two or three weeks. And then after that, once they tell me it's healed, I'll start doing rehab and being aggressive with it."

Hamilton suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament and also a torn capsule when he banged his left thumb into first base during a headfirst slide in the seventh inning at Safeco Field on Wednesday. It was a major loss for an Angels lineup that could be without its cleanup hitter and main power supply from the left side until June. And it's a major blow to Hamilton, who was named co-American League Player of the Week to start the season and was batting .444/.545/.741 through his first 33 plate appearances.

"I felt like my old self -- my 2010, '11, '12 self," Hamilton said in a news conference prior to the series opener against the A's at Angel Stadium. "That's why it's a bummer. But there's no reason why I can't come back and still feel like that."

Hamilton said he "reassessed" his headfirst slide as soon as he saw the replay, and in hindsight understands that he shouldn't have done it. Asked if he'll avoid sliding headfirst into first base moving forward, Hamilton, who has done it several times throughout his career, said: "I ain't gonna make any promises."

"What I've learned is no matter what you do, if something goes bad, you're going to catch criticism," Hamilton said. "When it goes good, no big deal. It just helps you guys write about a bunch of other stuff, so, you're welcome."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.

 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Josh Hamilton