Rangers encouraged by Hamilton's progress

Outfielder set to get back on field, participate in baseball activities

Rangers encouraged by Hamilton's progress

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said outfielder Josh Hamilton has made significant progress the past few days with his left knee recovery and there is still hope that Hamilton could be ready by May 1.

"Hopefully he has turned a corner, but we'll continue to monitor him day to day," Levine said.

Hamilton has been doing his injury rehab work inside and has been limited to swinging the bat off a tee or against soft toss. But, starting on Sunday, he is getting back on the field and beginning to do more baseball activities.

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"I don't have any pain and I have full function," Hamilton said. "That's what you want. We are in a good spot. It's just about staying on course, not getting over-anxious or going too fast. Do it the right way. Right now, I am 100 percent better."

Hamilton is recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee and has been bothered by persistent inflammation. He had a stem cell injection in February and the Rangers have conceded he will start the season on the disabled list.

The club has a target of May 1 for Hamilton's return. The Rangers want to make sure he is fully recovered and has the equivalent of a full Spring Training before they activate him.

Worth noting
• Right-handed reliever Luke Jackson, who has been sidelined with tightness in his lower back, threw off a half-mound on Sunday.

• Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, who was scratched from Friday's outing against the Mariners because of lower back tightness, is scheduled to resume throwing on Monday.

• First baseman Ike Davis, sidelined with a sprained right knee, is hitting in the cages and taking ground balls, but he has not yet been cleared to run the bases.

• Outfielder Ryan Cordell is still sidelined with a sprained right ankle.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.