SURPRISE, Ariz. — Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will start the season on the disabled list with an injured left knee.
Assistant general manager Thad Levine said the five-time All-Star, bothered by swelling, received a stem cell and platelet rich plasma injection Monday, when he was examined by Dr. James Andrews.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, will be on crutches for 7-10 days and is projected to need eight weeks of recovery time. Levine said Hamilton likely will start a minor-league rehabilitation assignment in late April, and the Rangers hope he will return to their lineup in early May.
"Obviously it's frustrating and disappointing," Hamilton, 34, said Wednesday. "As an athlete, you don't want to be pushed back and wait and have a drawn-out time period to get back. That stinks. At the same time, I really felt like it was something that needed to be done now."
Hamilton, who was drafted first overall by the Rays in 1999, will be making his 11th trip to the disabled list.
"The reason we are giving him an eight-week program is so we don't cut any corners and give him a full spring training," Levine said.
After reporting to spring training last week, Hamilton felt pain caused by an inflamed capsule behind his left knee. He had surgery twice on the knee last year, in September then after the season after returning for the end of the regular season and the playoffs.
After the October operation, Hamilton didn't take batting practice again until Jan. 22, the day after a cortisone shot.
"This is something different, that I haven't tried yet," Hamilton said. "This was the next step to go. We've exhausted things. If this makes it 50 percent better, I'll be good to go. Everybody I've talked to who've said they had any kind of stem-cell stuff said they've had good results from them, so that's positive and encouraging."
BRAVES: Team president John Schuerholz and former Gold Glove-winning centerfielder Andruw Jones will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame this summer.
DODGERS: Former Rays right-handed reliever Jamey Wright agreed to a minor-league deal. Wright, 41, sat out last season.
METS: Shortstop Ruben Tejada earned one extra day of service time as part of his arbitration settlement last month, meaning he will become a free agent after this season. … The suspension of right-handed reliever Hansel Robles was cut from three games to two after he agreed to drop his appeal.
ORIOLES: Right-hander Yovani Gallardo agreed to a restructured contract for two years and $22 million with an $11 million option after an MRI exam raised concerns about the health of his shoulder.
TIGERS: Closer Francisco Rodriguez resolved his visa issues and is on his way to Lakeland from Venezuela. He's expected to report today.