Angels' Josh Hamilton might need surgery on thumb [Updated]

This post has been updated. See below.

SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton has a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and said he will undergo surgery in the coming days, a procedure that could sideline the hot-hitting Angels left fielder for six to eight weeks.

Hamilton, who injured the thumb on a head-first slide into first base in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, also tore a capsule in the thumb. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and replaced on the roster by outfielder J.B. Shuck, who was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake.

[Updated, 4:40 p.m. PDT: Initial X-rays on the thumb late Tuesday were negative, but Hamilton said an MRI exam on Wednesday revealed the extent of the injury.

"The news sucks," Hamilton said. "Any time you're playing hard and having fun, the last thing you want to do is do something that causes you to miss time and hurts the team."

As for the head-first slide, Hamilton added, "If I could see the future, I wouldn't do it. But my mind tells me to react one way."

Third baseman David Freese said the Angels will have to try to find a way to fill the void in Hamilton's absence.

"It's definitely tough to lose one of your big dogs, your four-hole hitter, and a huge presence in the lineup and the clubhouse," Freese said. "But these things happen. You battle through it. Guys will step up. We'll be all right."]

Hamilton, who is hitting .444 (12 for 27) with two home runs and six runs batted in thorough eight games, remained in the game defensively for two more innings after his slide, but when he was unable to swing aggressively, he told Manager Mike Scioscia he would be unable to hit.

His spot in the order came up in the ninth with two on and no outs, and pinch-hitter Ian Stewart struck out.


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