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Rangers slugger Hamilton excited about progress from broken right arm

ARLINGTON, Texas — Rangers OF Josh Hamilton stood in a tunnel near the dugout with sweat dripping off his face and a look of contentment after his most extensive workout since breaking his upper right arm.

"Today is the best I've felt as far as my pain since I've been hurt," Hamilton said Tuesday.

Exactly two weeks after getting hurt diving headfirst into home plate at Detroit, the reigning AL MVP went through a workout that included catching flyballs, throwing and running the bases. He was in good spirits wearing a T-shirt featuring the words "Don't Get Bitter, Get Better" surrounding a lemon.

"I don't even have to say anything. That says it all," he said, pointing to the shirt. "Don't feel sorry for yourself. … It is what it is. Just do what you can to get better, as fast as you can. That's it, (there's) a lot of season left."

The former Rays prospect sustained a non-displaced fracture at the top of his right arm, just below the shoulder, when he tried scoring with a daring dash on a foul popup after being told to go by third-base coach Dave Anderson.

The Rangers said then that Hamilton would be out six to eight weeks and wouldn't be able to swing a bat for a month.

"Swinging will be the last thing I do," Hamilton reiterated. "I'm just staying on top of everything I can until I get that back."

When Hamilton got hurt, the fracture was small enough that it wasn't initially detectable on an X-ray until after an MRI exam.

There was a follow-up X-ray Friday, and Hamilton said team physician Keith Meister told him it was clear.

MAUER NOT CLOSE: Twins All-Star C Joe Mauer will be eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday. But GM Bill Smith doesn't think he will be healthy enough for that to happen.

Mauer went on the disabled list April 14 with bilateral leg weakness. Smith said the former AL MVP lost about a week of rehab time because of a nasty bout of the flu that circulated through the clubhouse.

Smith said Mauer has recovered from the illness but needs more time to strengthen his legs for the rigors of catching. The team has not determined if Mauer will need to go to the minors on a rehab assignment.

DODGERS TAKEOVER: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said he will travel to New York to meet with Major League Baseball executives about the recent appointment of a monitor to run the team. McCourt said in a statement that he'll also discuss the "practical concerns" about the hiring of former Rangers president J. Thomas Schieffer to oversee the daily operation of the franchise.

In other Dodgers news, RF Andre Ethier hit in his 23rd straight game, the longest April hitting streak ever. Ethier doubled in the first against the Marlins to break the record set by his former manager, Joe Torre, who hit in 22 straight April games in 1971 for the Cardinals.

EX-RAY RETIRES: OF Gabe Gross, 31, who played for the Rays for two seasons and was a key reserve during their 2008 World Series run, retired after seven years in the majors.

PITCHER LEAVES JAPAN: Former Royals RHP Brian Bannister left Japan's Yomiuri Giants after last month's earthquake and tsunami and does not plan to return, the team said.

BREWERS: Utilityman Erick Almonte became the first major-leaguer placed on the seven-day disabled list for concussions after being hit in the forehead by a thrown ball during batting practice. All-Star RF Corey Hart was activated after missing the first three weeks of the season with an oblique strain.

INDIANS: An MRI exam on RHP Carlos Carrasco's elbow did not show any structural damage, and he might make his scheduled start Saturday.

NATIONALS: SS Ian Desmond went on the paternity leave list, and OF Roger Bernadina was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.

PHILLIES: RHP Jose Contreras has a grade one strain in his right elbow and will be sidelined three to four weeks. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the extent of the injury was discovered in an MRI exam. Contreras had been the team's closer in the absence of RHP Brad Lidge, out with a strained right rotator cuff.

PIRATES: OF Xavier Paul was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers.

Rangers slugger Hamilton excited about progress from broken right arm 04/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:33pm]
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