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Hamilton to have further evaluations on knee

Rangers considering options as OF deals with lingering soreness after offseason surgery
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is seeking a second opinion on his sore left knee and is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Jeff Dugas on Monday. Dugas is an associate of Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Hamilton had surgery on the left knee after last season to clean out the cartilage, but he has continued to experience soreness through the winter. Dr. Keith Meister told Hamilton that he is dealing with inflammation in a capsule behind the left knee.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is seeking a second opinion on his sore left knee and is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Jeff Dugas on Monday. Dugas is an associate of Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Hamilton had surgery on the left knee after last season to clean out the cartilage, but he has continued to experience soreness through the winter. Dr. Keith Meister told Hamilton that he is dealing with inflammation in a capsule behind the left knee.

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"The knee was addressed surgically in the offseason," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has had some ups and downs, but he still has some discomfort. The purpose of the second opinion is to find out if there is something else we can do. You'd like to have a better handle on what we can expect from him this year."

Video: Sullivan discusses Hamilton's health, role in '16

Hamilton missed all of Spring Training with the Angels last year while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He was acquired by the Rangers on April 27, but he played in just 50 games for them while dealing with a variety of leg injuries, including the knee.

The Rangers have multiple options behind Hamilton in left field. Ryan Rua and Justin Ruggiano bat from the right side, while James Jones and Joey Gallo hit from the left side. Rookies Nomar Mazara and Lewis Brinson could be in the mix as well.

Video: Top Prospects: Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers

The Rangers have been monitoring the outfielders remaining on the free-agent market, and there are a number of interesting players still available. That list includes ex-Rangers David Murphy, Alex Rios, Drew Stubbs, Will Venable, Marlon Byrd and Jeff Francoeur. Shane Victorino is another possibility.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers have been in contact with Murphy. He has been looking for a big league contract, but right now the Rangers are only willing to do a Minor League deal with the outfielders still on the market.

"We have interest in a couple of guys out there, and we have expressed that in the right circumstances," Daniels said. "Some fit regardless of Josh's circumstance. We're also ready to roll with the guys we've got. We have some exciting young guys in camp."

Hamilton arrived in camp a week ago even though position players don't officially report until Tuesday. He said he has been able to do all his baseball activities, and that part is going well.

"I'm destroying it in the batting cage," Hamilton said.

The Rangers just need to figure out what Hamilton can do on the field.

"When a guy is on the field, that's when we can evaluate where he is in his recovery," manager Jeff Banister said. "You always have a contingency plan, a disaster plan, an Armageddon plan. We do that exercise daily ... 'If this player goes down, what's next for the ballclub?'"

Worth noting

• Pitcher Luke Jackson is limited to throwing off flat ground for a few days while dealing with some lower back soreness.

• Pitcher A.J. Griffin is also throwing on flat ground so he can work on some mechanical issues with pitching coach Doug Brocail.

• Pitcher Yu Darvish had his first session off a half-mound on Monday as he continues to recover from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Prince Fielder arrived in camp on Monday.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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

Texas Rangers, Josh Hamilton