SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said Thursday he is dealing with soreness in his left knee after a second surgery.
Already in spring training with the Rangers, a week before the first full squad workout for the AL West champions, Hamilton is running bases, stretching and shagging balls in the outfield.
"We’ll hit it with treatment and see if it responds to being active every day," Hamilton said. "Hopefully, it does. I’m not really worrying about it. It seems like the more I do on it, the better it feels."
Hamilton had a cortisone shot Jan. 21 after a couple of weeks of rehab work and the next day took batting practice for the first time since his second operation, in October. The slugger said then he was feeling good.
"I’m wondering why, 2 1/2 weeks later, it started happening again," Hamilton said. "Is this going to be an ongoing thing? Is this not going to be an ongoing thing? I have those questions."
The Rangers said Hamilton will be evaluated this weekend by team physician Dr. Keith Meister.
The 2010 AL MVP was among several position players already in camp on the reporting date for pitchers and catchers, who have their first workout Friday. The full squad reporting date is next Wednesday.
Hamilton never went to spring training last year with the Los Angeles Angels when he was coming off shoulder surgery and a self-reported relapse with alcohol and cocaine. An arbitrator ruled Major League Baseball could not discipline him for that.
He was traded back to Texas at the end of April and made his season debut May 25.
Texas might play Hamilton sparingly this spring training, especially in early March, to make sure his knee is healthy when the season starts. Hamilton turns 35 on May 1; he hit .253 with eight homers in 170 at-bats over 50 games for the Rangers last season.
"I want to use this spring to the best of my ability to get ready for when it counts," Hamilton said. "I’m trying to listen to them and tell them how I feel, and see what they’ve got going on and just not push it because it doesn’t count. But I’ve never had that mentality. It’s always been just go, go go. So, it’s a new challenge for me."
Notes: Yu Darivsh, the ace from Japan who missed last season after Tommy John surgery, is expected to start throwing off a half-mound next week. The Rangers said he is doing well with his throwing progression. … Right-hander Colby Lewis is reporting no issues playing catch and is expected to be able to start bullpen work as camp opens. He had surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right knee two days after the season ended. … Other positions players in camp include Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Delino DeShields.