ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton had extensive surgery on his left knee Wednesday, including reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament.
The Rangers said Dr. Walt Lowe also repaired meniscus and lateral cartilage in that knee during the scheduled procedure in Houston, where Hamilton will begin rehabilitation in the next few days.
It was the third time since September the 35-year-old Hamilton had surgery on his left knee. He had tried cortisone shots along with a stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injection during spring training, but played in one game for Double-A Frisco on April 30 before being recalled from his rehab assignment because of more soreness. He then went to Lowe, a knee specialist, for another opinion.
Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP in his five seasons with the Rangers from 2008-12 before leaving as a free agent and signed a $125 million, five-year contract with the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels. =
The Angels traded Hamilton back to Texas last year, agreeing to pay the Rangers for all of his $24 million salary this season and $22 million of the $24 million the outfielder is due in 2017, the last year of that contract.
Hamilton played only 50 games last season after the Rangers reacquired him when coming back from shoulder surgery. He hit .253 with eight homers and 25 RBIs.
There was then knee surgery in September, and another operation in October before Hamilton returned for the end of the regular season and the playoffs. While he felt better after a cortisone shot in January, he was bothered by swelling in the knee after getting to Arizona for spring training, then tried the plasma injection.
When Hamilton was ailing in spring training, the Rangers signed free agent Ian Desmond, a shortstop his entire career with the Washington Nationals. Desmond was expected to play left field, which is where he started before becoming their everyday center fielder.
Ryan Rua has been the primary left fielder since Desmond switched to center. Nomar Mazara was the AL rookie of the month for both April and May filing in for injured right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, who could be close to his return from his second DL stint of the season.