Hamilton hoping to return sooner

Hamilton hoping to return sooner

ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton's thumb injury prevented him from playing in his team's first game against the Rangers and during his own bobblehead giveaway at Angel Stadium on Friday night.

But he's making steady progress, and fighting to be ahead of schedule.

The Angels' outfielder has full range of motion on his left thumb, which underwent surgery on April 11, and will meet with the doctor on Saturday in hopes of getting cleared to start throwing with a brace early next week.

Hamilton said his timeline and the medical department's timeline are "two totally different things" at the moment.

Asked who would win out, the 32-year-old left-handed hitter said: "Hopefully we can come to a compromise."

Hamilton's injury carried an initial timetable of six-to-eight weeks, which would fall anywhere from May 23 to June 6 post-op.

Hamilton, who took 95 swings off the tee with his bottom hand on Friday, feels he can start playing in rehab games in 10 to 14 days, from May 12-16. But he said Dr. Steven Shin, who performed the surgery, is reluctant to clear anyone for games before the six-week mark and has never had anyone return from Hamilton's injury -- complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, along with a torn capsule -- in less than seven weeks.

"Honestly I feel like in another week and a half or two weeks I'll be good," Hamilton said, "because I'm doing everything I need to do as far as staying in shape."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.