General Manager Jerry Dipoto said Friday that Hamilton, who underwent surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder on Feb. 4, could be sidelined for a month longer than his initial prognosis of six to eight weeks.
"It could be six to eight weeks, it could be as much as 12 weeks," Dipoto said. "He had a bone shaved down to create less friction in an arthritic shoulder. Until he gets on site and on the field, it's tough to determine how long it will take."
Dipoto stressed that Hamilton, who is rehabilitating the shoulder in Houston, did not have a setback. In assessing Hamilton's condition, doctors determined a longer recovery could be required.
"Surgery is always complicated," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to take it one step at a time and make sure he's ready to go before we start to project when he can do some of the things he used to do."
Hamilton, who hasn't lived up to the expectations of the five-year, $125-million contract he signed before 2013, missed most of last September because of a right-shoulder injury. He declared himself fit for the playoffs but went hitless — often looking overmatched — in 13 at-bats.
Hamilton, 33, took a few extra weeks to heal before beginning workouts, but the shoulder flared up in late January when he tried to swing a bat with full force.
Hamilton will miss most, if not all, of spring training, and he might not return to action until May. If he is able to resume baseball activities during the six-week training camp, "We'll add a locker," Dipoto said.
Garrett Richards, recovering from surgery on his left knee, looked strong and comfortable throwing 30 fastballs from the stretch during his second session off a mound. "Everything feels fine," said Richards, who is questionable for the season opener but is expected to return in April. . . . Scioscia said he'd like catcher Chris Iannetta to start "100-115 games" behind the plate and that Iannetta could occasionally would be the designated hitter against left-handers.