SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Josh Hamilton was back at Rangers spring training camp in Arizona on Thursday, and feeling confident after an examination in Texas showed no significant structural damage to his surgically repaired left knee.
Hamilton said he was concerned when he felt a sudden pain when doing some running drills Tuesday. He was in the outfield grass simulating running the bases in arcs, not in a straight line or at full speed, when he experienced the knee pain.
“I had already run on the treadmill that morning, felt good, and went out there and started running,” Hamilton said Thursday while standing at his locker. “About the fourth one I ran, I had a sharp pain on the outside part of my knee. It was enough to tell me to stop doing what I was doing.”
Hamilton then went to another field and did some throwing. He was later watching teammates go through the team’s first full-squad workout when the pain kept getting worse while he was just standing.
The 35-year-old slugger made a rushed trip to Houston to be examined by Dr. Walt Lowe on Wednesday, when Hamilton also had an MRI and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his knee. Lowe did surgery last June, Hamilton’s third knee operation in 10 months and the 10th in his career.
When Hamilton spoke with Lowe on Tuesday, the doctor said he was leaving town the next day, and would be gone until Monday, and would be back in Houston for only a day before going to NFL scouting combine.
So Hamilton got on a plane, landed in Houston about 10:30 Tuesday night, and was in Lowe’s office at 6 a.m. the next day before the doctor left for his trip.
Lowe got the MRI results back while waiting for his flight.
“He called me, he was sitting in the airport looking at it on the computer, and said everything looked good,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he felt good riding the bike at his rented Arizona home after getting back Wednesday, and would continue riding the bike and getting treatment for a few days before resuming baseball activity. He hopes to start hitting again by Monday.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, is in camp with a minor league contract after not playing in the majors last season. The five-time All-Star outfielder is working out this spring at first base, and said his confidence hasn’t wavered.
“Everything I’ve done up to this point, I felt good,” he said. “Even groundballs at first base, wearing cleats, going side to side, coming in hard on balls, all that. It’s felt great.”