After storybook season, Hamilton finding encore isn't as easy

Cole Hamels isn't the only 2008 breakout star who's having injury problems to start the 2009 season.

Deep in the heart of Texas, the Rangers say they are waiting 48 hours to see if Josh Hamilton can shake off a case of bruised ribs or if he has to head to the disabled list. Hamilton suffered the injury on April 21 while crashing into an outfield wall, hasn't played since Sunday and says the pain has grown so "extreme" that he can't even lift his kids into the air.

The Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports that a doctor didn't find any more damage on Tuesday, but that the team must wait to see if the medicine to ease Hamilton's pain does its job. A decision is expected to be made on Thursday.

Obviously, this isn't the most Earth-shattering news or injury, but just like with Hamels, Hamilton is finding out that it's not that easy to bring the good good mojo from one season in the next. In 18 games this season, Hamilton is hitting .242 with two homers and 10 RBIs, which is of course off the pace he set early last year (through 18 games in '08, he was hitting .301 with four HR and 17 RBIs).

Anyway, we'll likely know more tomorrow and here's hoping he can shake this rib problem, though, because the Rangers — and all of baseball, really — are a lot more interesting with Hamilton at the plate and killing the ball.

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