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Hamilton day to day with bone bruise in thumb

SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton is currently nursing a bone bruise in his left thumb, Angels doctors confirmed when they re-evaluated the slugger in Seattle on Monday.

The good news is that it isn't expected to be a major setback, and it's deemed unrelated to the surgical procedure that forced him to miss about six weeks on the disabled list. But Hamilton will have to take at least one day off from swinging the bat, then have to start his rehab assignment all over again.

"It's frustrating," Hamilton said after the Angels' 5-1 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field. "You don't expect something like that to happen."

Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a double in his debut with Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday, but was jammed badly while grounding out in a ninth-inning at-bat, then was a late scratch from the starting lineup on Friday and Saturday and stayed away from baseball activities altogether on Sunday.

The 33-year-old originally hoped to be activated by Monday's series opener in Seattle -- the place where he suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn capsule while sliding into first base on April 8 -- but that'll have to wait.

Hamilton hopes to take batting practice again on Wednesday, and may rejoin the Salt Lake Bees in nearby Tacoma, Wash., where they play until Friday.

Still, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "Right now, it's day to day."

When Hamilton starts hitting again, he'll do so without a protective splint that was bothering him a little at the plate.

That splint, however, may have prevented a more serious setback.

"It just got in on me a little bit," Hamilton said of getting jammed on Thursday. "It probably would've almost been better if the bat had shattered, instead of absorbing all the force of it. And the splint I was wearing -- it was probably going to be my last day wearing it -- probably prevented my thumb from absorbing it like it should have. So it took more of the brunt and force."

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