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Hamilton tests thumb with batting practice

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SEATTLE -- Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, who suffered a bone bruise on his left thumb during his first rehab game Thursday, felt good while taking batting practice in the cage Wednesday and hopes to hit on the field prior to Thursday's game.

Prior to restarting his rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake, Hamilton wants to hit off a batting machine that spits balls out at a good velocity so he can "mishit a couple of balls and see how it feels."

Hamilton has been hitting without the protective splint on his surgically repaired thumb and said it "feels a lot better."

"The first few swings I took today I was a little timid," Hamilton said. "I was like, 'All right, cut it loose.' So I did, and it felt fine."

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.

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