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Hamilton expected out 7-10 more days


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 6, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Josh Hamilton isn't expected to play for another seven to 10 days and is close to turning what was supposed to be his tuneup season into an injury-riddled disaster.

Hamilton, fighting a sore left quadriceps, has played once since April29, and Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said Thursday if the organization's top prospect isn't back on the field in the next two to three weeks, his season could be considered "a wash."

"He's had a tremendous struggle this year," LaMar said. "I expect in the next seven to 10 days he'll be back out playing. That would give him two full months in the minor leagues."

Hamilton, voted before the season as one of the top prospects in the minor leagues by Baseball America, has struggled since spring training ended.

The 19-year-old outfielder battled the flu for most of the first month while playing for Double-A Orlando and hurt his back the last week of April.

In 23 games with the O-Rays he hit .180 with no home runs and 22 strikeouts.

Hamilton was sent to Class A Charleston on June21 to begin a rehabilitation stint. He played one game, going 1-for-3 with a strikeout, but has not played since. He is listed as day to day. "We're not going to send him back out where he's going to get hurt again," LaMar said.

LaMar said Hamilton was one of six players, along with Jorge Cantu and Carl Crawford, submitted to play in the Arizona Fall League, which would allow Hamilton to make up for lost time this season.

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