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Angels' Josh Hamilton, Kole Calhoun, Dane De La Rosa close to return

SportsBaseballMajor League BaseballJosh HamiltonDane De La RosaLos Angeles AngelsMike Scioscia
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton appears ahead of schedule in rehabbing thumb injury, hopes to play in 2 weeks
Outfielder Kole Calhoun is on the mend from ankle strain; pitcher Dane De La Rosa could start rehab stint soon
Angels call up hot-hitting utility player Grant Green from triple-A Salt Lake

Angels outfielders Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun appear to be on schedule, or maybe a little bit ahead of schedule, in their return from injuries, and reliever Dane De La Rosa (shoulder, forearm injuries) is close to beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Meanwhile, the Angels added infield and outfield depth by promoting hot-hitting utility player Grant Green from triple A on Friday. Green, 26, hit .365 with 11 extra-base hits and 28 runs batted in at Salt Lake, playing his last six games there in left field in an effort to increase his versatility.

Manager Mike Scioscia said he would be “very comfortable” playing the right-handed Green in left field and that Green would likely start against left-handed pitchers.

Green’s primary position is second base, and he has played some shortstop and third base this season. He played much of 2011 in left field for Oakland’s triple-A team.

“The only difference is the batter looks so much farther away,” Green said. “I’m as comfortable as you can be for a guy who has played six games there. I saw the ball fine and got good reads. I think it went well.”

Hamilton underwent surgery after tearing a ligament in his left thumb on April 8 and was expected to be out for six to eight weeks, but the left fielder has nearly regained full range of motion in the thumb and is gaining strength.

He’s been swinging the bat with his lower hand and running, and he hopes to be cleared to throw on Saturday.

“My timetable and theirs is totally different — hopefully we can come to a compromise,” Hamilton said. “Honestly, I feel I could be good in two weeks.”

Calhoun, who suffered a second-degree strain of his right ankle April 15 and was expected to be out for four to six weeks, has been hitting, throwing and jogging on a de-weighted treadmill.

“It’s real tight, and I’m trying to loosen it up,” Calhoun said. “But it’s getting better.”

De La Rosa, who went 6-1 with a 2.86 earned-run average in a team-high 75 appearances last season, threw another simulated inning in Arizona on Thursday that Scioscia described as “outstanding,” adding that the right-hander has regained much of the velocity on his 95-mph fastball.

Left-hander Sean Burnett is scheduled for another simulated inning on Saturday, but the reliever is not as close to a rehab assignment as De La Rosa.

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