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Hamilton undergoes successful thumb surgery

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton had surgery on his left thumb on Friday morning to repair a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn capsule.

"Everything went well," reported Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who will have to figure out a way to fill a massive void left by the man who was off to a blazing start before injuring the thumb on a headfirst slide into first base in Seattle on Tuesday night.

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ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton had surgery on his left thumb on Friday morning to repair a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn capsule.

"Everything went well," reported Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who will have to figure out a way to fill a massive void left by the man who was off to a blazing start before injuring the thumb on a headfirst slide into first base in Seattle on Tuesday night.

Full Game Coverage

Hamilton's recovery time is expected to be six to eight weeks. The 32-year-old left fielder was batting .444 through eight games with two homers, six RBIs and seven runs scored. He'd also drawn a team-high six walks, producing a .545 on-base percentage to go with a .741 slugging mark.

Left-handed-hitting J.B. Shuck was summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake and inserted in the lineup at the No. 7 spot, replacing Hamilton in left. Scioscia also has Collin Cowgill available in what shapes up as a platoon.

"Shuck and Cowgill will get the lion's share of playing time in left field," Scioscia said.

Hamilton was hitting fourth behind Albert Pujols, who homered in consecutive games Tuesday and Wednesday in Seattle. Designated hitter Raul Ibanez was thrust into the cleanup role for Friday night's Interleague series opener against the Mets and right-hander Dillon Gee.

Scioscia said he plans to keep Mike Trout in the No. 2 spot, behind Kole Calhoun. David Freese, Howie Kendrick, Shuck, Chris Iannetta and Erick Aybar filled out the lineup in the opener of the homestand.

"What we really liked was how our lineup was lengthened with the left-handed bat Josh brought in the middle," Scioscia said. "We've gone through stretches where we've lost big guys for two months here."

Ibanez, signed as a free agent after a big season in Seattle, is batting .192 in 26 at-bats with one homer and seven RBIs. Freese, the former Cardinals star acquired in the four-player swap sending Peter Bourjos to St. Louis, is batting .179 with one homer and three RBIs.

The Angels are batting only .234 as a team and have been outhomered, 14-10, through nine games.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Josh Hamilton, J.B. Shuck