Los Angeles Angels slugger Josh Hamilton will have surgery on his injured left thumb after an MRI scan on Wednesday revealed he tore a UCL and capsule, it was confirmed by MLB.com.
Hamilton is expected to be out of action for 6-8 weeks whilst recovering from the surgery but it will not be confirmed until he meets with hand specialist Dr Steven Shin on Friday.
The 32-year-old outfielder suffered the injury whilst diving head-first towards first base on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners. Initially Hamilton didn’t appear hurt after being run out and the collision between his left hand and the base was minimal.
But Hamilton did not take any further part in the rest of the Angels 5-3 loss against the Mariners in the home opener.
“Any time you play and you’re playing hard, the last thing you want to do is do something that is going to cost you to miss time and maybe hurts your team in the long run.”
The head-first dive was criticised post-match by pundits but Hamilton refused to change his playing style.
“If I could see a future obviously I wouldn’t do it,” he explained. “But in the moment when my mind and body tells me to do something and react some way, I’ve always done it. That is what I do and you can’t change that.”
Hamilton has now been placed on the disabled list for the foreseeable future and outfielder J.B. Shuck has been recalled from Triple-A outfit Salt Lake Bees.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was left frustrated by his five-time MLB All-Star. He admitted he preferred his players not to slid head-first but won’t ask Hamilton to change his style.
Speaking to MLB.com, he said: “You never want to coach the athleticism out of a player. Certainly you wince when you see a guy going head-first because it’s something that is not as natural as other plays. But he’s done it a hundred times in his career and this is the one that caught his thumb.”
Hamilton is confident he can recover quickly and return for the Angels by June. He added: “I don’t plan on being as far behind as people think. It’ll be all good.”
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