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09/28/09 8:41 PM ET
Young returns, but Hamilton sits for Texas
Pinched nerve in outfielder's back could end season
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Rangers infielder Michael Young returned to the lineup on Monday, but Josh Hamilton was out for the second straight day because of more concerns about the pinched nerve in his lower back. Hamilton, who had been sidelined since Sept. 2 because of the problem, played Friday and Saturday against the Rays but was unable to go on Sunday. He may not play again the rest of the season although the Rangers haven't made that decision yet. "I'm not going to say that yet," manager Ron Washington said before the Rangers' game with the Angels on Monday. "But he's still feeling a little residual in his back. I don't want to push him out there and then pull him out again. "He can do all the stuff before the game, but once he gets in the game it starts to bother him." A loss to the Angels on Monday night would eliminate the Rangers from the American League West race and give them reason to shut down both Hamilton and Young in the final week of the season. Young doesn't see it that way. He was back in the lineup on Monday and said he expects to play in all seven of the Rangers' games. "It's my responsibility," Young said. "I'm a professional baseball player. My role goes beyond hitting and catching ground balls." Young was starting on Monday for only the second time since Sept. 1. He has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring. He started at designated hitter on Sept. 15 but aggravated the hamstring in his first at-bat. Young did admit that if he has another setback, he will likely shut it down the rest of the way. "I imagine that will be the case," Young said. "Hopefully that will be the case. I'm going to go 100 percent, but I feel anything weird, I'll pull up." He is not 100 percent and won't be this week. "I'll be 100 percent by Halloween," Young said. "I don't have any regrets. I got hurt playing hard. You can't do anything about it. I got reinjured, but the team needed me and the clock was ticking. If it had been June, I would have been more patient." Young and Hamilton were in the AL lineup for the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis. But, going into Monday's game, they had just 24 at-bats between them in September. "You just can't replace those two guys," Washington said. "I would have liked to have seen what would happen if we had them in the lineup. We definitely missed them."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.