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05/20/09 7:20 PM ET

Slugger Hamilton remains day-to-day

Center fielder out of lineup Wednesday, but could pinch hit

DETROIT -- Texas slugger Josh Hamilton missed his second consecutive game on Wednesday night at Comerica Park with a sore right groin.

He's still listed day-to-day, though the team declared him available to pinch hit before the game. Rangers manager Ron Washington said if the All-Star center fielder doesn't return for Thursday's series finale, he'll likely rejoin the starting lineup Friday in Houston.

Hamilton said the muscle that caused him to miss Tuesday's game felt OK. But another muscle in his groin area caused discomfort on Wednesday afternoon.

"I didn't expect this other one to hurt," Hamilton said. "My groin was a little sore, and that's what I expected to feel. I didn't expect to feel the other one."

Hamilton hit in the indoor cage, took full rounds of batting practice and hit in a simulated game against rehabbing closer Frank Francisco without pain. When he went for a jog, however, he felt sore.

"He felt a little uncomfortable, and he didn't want to push it," Washington said. "If we have to wait a few days to get him back and get him going again, that's fine. We understand why he's down. That's a 230-, 240-pound individual hitting a wall at full tilt."

Hamilton exited Sunday's home game against the Angles after crashing into the right-center-field wall to make a leaping catch.

He returned from the 15-day DL last Tuesday. He suffered a strained rib cage muscle when he ran into the outfield wall in Toronto.

Even after the two injuries, Washington said he doesn't want Hamilton to lessen his aggressiveness.

"That's the way the man plays," the skipper explained. "No, no, no, no. I don't want him to change the way he plays. That thought right there hasn't crossed my mind yet."

Scott McNeish is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.