Hamilton progressing, set to take swings

Hamilton progressing, set to take swings

SEATTLE -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, on the disabled list with a fractured bone below his right shoulder, will take another step in his rehabilitation by beginning to swing a bat again on Wednesday.

Hamilton will hit off a tee, his first time swinging since he suffered the injury sliding into home plate on April 12 against the Tigers. That was three weeks ago. The original prognosis was Hamilton would be sidelined six to eight weeks and would wait four weeks before being able to swing the bat.

This suggests the possibility that Hamilton is ahead of the schedule laid out by Dr. Keith Meister and head trainer Jamie Reed.

"Everything's gone according to plan so far," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Josh is in a good state of mind, and the arm continues to get better. He'll keep progressing with the rehab that Keith and Jamie laid out. It's too early to narrow down a date for his return, but we're definitely heading in a good direction, and it's reasonable to assume he'll be back within the original time frame."

Hamilton is the reigning American League batting champion and Most Valuable Player after hitting a club-record .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs last season. He was hitting .333 with no home runs and seven RBIs in 11 games before he was injured. The Rangers are 7-12 as a team since April 12.

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