Josh Hamilton Has Rib Fracture, Gets Two More Injections
Taking advantage of the extra time, Hamilton visited back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Marina del Rey, Calif., while his teammates were playing the Los Angeles Angels. Hamilton spent five and a half hours with Dr. Watkins going through a number of tests and bone scans.
The results revealed a small fracture in his seventh and eighth ribs that had not been evident on previous tests. Watkins gave Hamilton an anti-inflammatory shot and a nerve-block injection to relieve the pain. (This after Hamilton took two cortisone shots last week.) The Rangers said it usually takes 48-72 hours to determine the treatment's effectiveness.
With just a few games left on the regular-season schedule, it seems less and less likely that Hamilton will return before the playoffs.
A few weeks ago, Rangers manager Ron Washington said that he wanted to get Hamilton 40 to 50 at-bats before the start of the playoffs. He downgraded those hopes to roughly half that and now may be just as happy having a healthy Hamilton in the playoffs, even if he doesn't step to the plate again in the regular season.
Hamilton is no stranger to late-season injuries. Last season he missed the final four weeks of the year with a pinched nerve in his back and the Rangers failed to catch the Angels for a playoff berth.
Now that the Rangers are close to locking up an invitation to postseason play, the hope is that rest and a little bit of medical mending will give Hamilton the opportunity to get back onto the field as quickly as possible.
If he's unable to play in the regular season, Washington still plans on using him in the playoffs if he's healthy enough for action.
"If we make the playoffs and he's healthy," said Washington, "he'll have to figure it out in the playoffs."