Angels unsure whether Hamilton will report to camp

Angels unsure whether Hamilton will report to camp

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels don't know when Josh Hamilton will report for Spring Training, and at this point they can't be sure if the high-priced slugger will even report at all.

Hamilton, 16 days removed from surgery to his right AC joint, is currently rehabbing in Houston and will remain there until he is cleared for baseball activities. The initial prognosis called for a return in six to eight weeks, which would have the 33-year-old outfielder back before the end of April, but his recovery could drag into May.

The Angels haven't issued Hamilton a locker at Tempe Diablo Stadium yet, primarily to make room for a Spring Training roster of 63 players -- and they don't know if they'll need to.

"We don't have a definitive timeline; just estimates," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wrote in an email on Friday. "We have anticipated six to eight weeks, though as I've maintained throughout, we will have a better sense once he's closer to returning to baseball activity. Whether he joins us in Tempe will be determined at the appropriate time."

Hamilton is entering the third season of a five-year, $125 million contract and has posted a .255/.316/.426 slash line in 240 games in 2013-14.

The five-time All-Star dealt with ailments in his right shoulder, chest and rib cage throughout last September, prompting him to go into the postseason cold and go 0-for-13 in the American League Division Series. Hamilton was told to take extra time to rest in the offseason, but once he started swinging at full force again, his shoulder flared up, prompting surgery to shave the bone and create less friction in his arthritic shoulder.

The Angels prefer to keep Hamilton working with a physical therapist in Houston and on his own schedule until he can start baseball activities again.

"We will reassess the situation once he's prepared to resume baseball activity," Dipoto wrote.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.