Hamilton set for shoulder surgery; out 6-8 weeks …

The Angels announced Tuesday that Josh Hamilton will undergo surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder, a procedure that is expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks and makes him doubtful for Opening Day.

Hamilton’s AC joint was considered the main culprit of a slew of ailments that plagued his right side throughout September, a month in which he played in just one of the Angels’ last 23 regular-season games before going 0-for-13 in the American League Division Series.

The 33-year-old outfielder was told to take some extra time to rest this offseason, hoping that could counteract the need for surgery, but shoulder pain flared up again once his batting-practice sessions intensified.

“It didn’t bother him throughout the offseason,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said “He went into his offseason training and never had an issue until last week, when he started swinging full throttle again.”

The surgery – to performed Wednesday at Texas Metroplex Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, by Dr. Keith Meister – is expected to last about 15 minutes and will consist of shaving Hamilton’s AC joint in order to relieve tension.

Hamilton has been suffering from arthritis in his shoulder for a while, a result of the torque of his left-handed swing.

Dipoto called a return by Opening Day “probably a little aggressive,” but didn’t rule it out entirely. The likely scenario is that Hamilton starts the season on the disabled list, then returns at some point in April. Hamilton can begin baseball activities as soon as Feb. 24, but there’s no telling exactly when that will take place.

There’s also no telling how a surgically repaired right shoulder will impact a left-handed power hitter.

Hamilton batted .250 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs in 151 games in his first season with the Angels in 2013, then played in just 89 games in 2014, batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in a season that saw him undergo surgery to his right thumb.

The 2015 season is the third of a five-year, $125 million contract.

“Nobody wants to perform more than Josh,” Dipoto said. “We want him to perform, we want him to be good. He knows that, we know that. I can’t sit here and express my frustration that he’s hurt. My primary focus is to get him in a position where he’s no longer hurt, then we’ll work through the baseball performance. I know he had a frustrating season, and some, if not all, can be attributed to this issue.”



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