Josh Hamilton said that his left knee feels better than it has since his heyday, but it took another cortisone shot March 14 in Arlington to jump-start the Texas Rangers outfielder’s rehab process.
Hamilton was on the field Thursday for baseball activities a third straight day, throwing, taking grounders in the outfield and balls hit directly to him, and taking batting practice. That followed a session of running on a treadmill with ankle weights in a swimming pool.
While the 2010 American League MVP doesn’t care for the running — “It sucks,” he said — his knee isn’t barking, either in the joint or in the inflamed capsule behind the knee.
“It’s good. Really good. Scary good,” said Hamilton, who underwent stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma injections last month. “It’s the best it’s felt in about five years. So, it’s like, ‘Don’t get too excited.’ Even if I regress and hurt it some, I’m still good. That’s how good it feels.”
The timeline for Hamilton’s return hasn’t changed. He will still open the season on the disabled list and isn’t expected to be activated until early May. Hamilton will accompany the team to Arlington for Opening Day, but will return to the Surprise Recreation Campus to face live pitching for the first time and build up to a rehab assignment.
After not having spring training last season and rushing to get into the Rangers’ lineup, Hamilton is content to stick to the program the Rangers designed for him.
“The experiences of pushing and getting excited and then having a setback is there, so it definitely helps slow me down,” he said.