On Tuesday night, he realized how wrong he was.
"When you get out here and get in baseball shape, it's totally different," Hunter said after going 1-for-4 in his return. "Third inning, I wanted somebody to bring me some water in the outfield."
So the Angels gave their right fielder a day off for Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees, with manager Mike Scioscia using Thursday's scheduled day off to give Hunter two days off his feet before the weekend series against the Rangers.
Jokes aside, Hunter -- on the restricted list since May 14 to deal with a personal matter -- said he actually "feels great."
"But I understand, it's for the long term," he added. "You don't want to go out there and try to push too much and blow something out, so Scioscia is being cautious."