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09/15/09 9:00 PM ET
Hamilton, Millwood remain seated
Slugger's earliest return is this weekend; righty to follow
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Michael Young returned to the Rangers' lineup on Tuesday. But Josh Hamilton's return probably won't be until this weekend at the earliest, and Kevin Millwood won't be back in the rotation until at least Monday. Hamilton has been sidelined for two weeks with a pinched nerve in his lower back, but has started swinging the bat again. He started doing swinging drills on Monday, then hit off a tee and against some soft tossing from hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on Tuesday. "He looks really good," Jaramillo said before Tuesday's game with the Athletics. "Hopefully he can take batting practice tomorrow, and we'll see how he feels and go from there. He looks good. He didn't flinch once the whole time he was in there. "I'd say he is day-to-day right now." The Rangers are hoping Hamilton will be ready to return to the lineup on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington. Millwood hasn't started since Saturday, when he allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Mariners. His next scheduled outing should have been on Friday against the Angels, but the Rangers are giving him extra time between starts to work on some things with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Millwood has had one bullpen session with Maddux since his last start and is scheduled to have at least two more on Wednesday and Friday. "I definitely feel I'm getting something out of it," Millwood said. "We're figuring out some things that have been going bad so we'll see." Right now, the Rangers are planning on going with Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Derek Holland during the three-game series against the Angels and Millwood is scheduled to pitch the first of a four-game series against the Athletics on Monday in Oakland. "That's the way it stands right now," manager Ron Washington said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.