SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Josh Hamilton’s bid to make the Texas Rangers’ opening day roster has ended after yet another surgery on his balky left knee.
Hamilton had an arthroscopic procedure Monday in Houston to repair some damaged meniscus cartilage in his left knee after experiencing pain last week while running at training camp. There were no issues with the surgically repaired ACL in that knee.
The 2010 AL MVP, in camp on a minor league contract, faces six weeks of rehabilitation before he will be able to start running again, then would need several weeks or more of baseball activity to be ready to play in games.
Hamilton is expected back in Arizona later this week, when it could become more clear what the latest operation means for his future. He could rehab and continue to work his way back into being an option for the Rangers during the season.
The 35-year-old slugger had left spring training in Arizona on Sunday and returned to Houston for the second time in less than a week to be examined by Dr. Walt Lowe, who also performed Hamilton’s season-ending surgery last June.
The latest knee procedure was the 11th in Hamilton’s career, and the third since he last played in the majors in 2015.
After two knee operations late in 2015, when he hit .253 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 50 games, Hamilton tried cortisone shots along with a stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injection during spring training last year. But he played only one game at Double-A Frisco, with two at-bats last April 30, and then had surgery in June to reconstruct his ACL and repair cartilage damage.
The five-time All-Star outfielder was cleared by his doctors in early December to resume baseball activities, and had been working out since at first base.
Hamilton had been feeling good until experiencing a sudden pain a week ago while running in the outfield grass, when he was simulating running the bases in arcs, but not in a straight line or at full speed.
Lowe examined him last Wednesday, when Hamilton also got an MRI and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his knee. But Hamilton felt more discomfort after returning to camp, where he was limited to riding a stationary bicycle.