Hamilton Says His Health is Improving

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Josh Hamilton is taking a while to get right, and there's still a question if "right" ever comes for the oft-injured drama magnet that is Josh Hamilton.

It's not surprising he's dealt with soft tissue injuries in his lower half considering the fact he never got a spring training and was essentially rushed up to the majors after a short "rehab" assignment to get him geared up for competitive baseball again after his trade from Los Angeles at the end of April.

He spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list with a hamstring strain and made just his 10th start of the season on Wednesday night, but he produced with an RBI double and a walk.

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The former AL MVP said he's beginning to feel better.

"I wouldn't be out there playing if I didn't feel like I could go out there to a certain point and still get the job done," he told the Associated Press. "It's going to take a little extra focus.

"One big concern was I'm still nursing the left hamstring, now the right hip. If I go out there and push through, is it going to make one worse than the other and cause me to miss more time?"

He's been in and out of the lineup since joining the team, and manager Jeff Banister said the team will be careful with him and give him scheduled days off, but they don't want him in and out of the lineup in an ideal situation.

The hope now is that the four-day all-star break, as well as possibly a day off during the upcoming weekend series against the Padres, will help him heal completely and come into the second half refreshed and ready to roll.

"I don't think I'm too far off," Hamilton said. "The hamstring feels really good, but it's still there. Each day I'm getting to a level where I can go further and further and further before I feel it. That's the goal right now."

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