Josh Hamilton has sports hernia?

Updated: October 23, 2011, 12:13 AM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton doesn't have the medical tests to prove it, but prior to Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday Hamilton said he believes he is playing through the pain associated with a sports hernia.

"All signs point to it, but there are no tests, no MRI," said Hamilton, who entered Saturday 0-for-7 in the World Series and without a home run in 48 postseason at-bats. "I've talked about not being as aggressive because it hurts when I'm aggressive. But, I just have to go play my game."

Hamilton has previously said that he is dealing with a left groin strain since the end of the regular season and that it has become increasingly worse as the postseason wears on.

He was in the Rangers' lineup for a pivotal Game 3, batting in his usual three-spot and playing center field. He went 1-for-5 with a run scored in Texas' 16-7 loss.

Hamilton has pegged his health as low as 50 percent after Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, but prior to Thursday's Game 2 of the World Series he smiled when asked if he felt that poorly and then said he is more like 75 or 80 percent.

"I don't know, don't care. At this point it's a non-factor," Hamilton said. "I'm hurting, but everybody is hurting at this point of the season."

A sports hernia occurs when there is a weakening of the muscles or tendons of the lower abdominal wall. In 2009, Hamilton suffered a complete detachment, an injury that was eventually diagnosed as a sports hernia. He underwent surgery and missed a month of the season.

He said the pain he's feeling now is why he believes he may be dealing with a sports hernia.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said even if Hamilton is suffering from such an injury that it doesn't change anything. As long as Hamilton says he can play, he will.

Since Hamilton has been vocal about his injury condition and pain threshold throughout the playoffs, he has been besieged by media before and after games to get a daily diagnosis.

While it might become a pain of another kind, Hamilton said he doesn't regret initially talking about being hurt since fans could see him wincing after swings in the World Series.

"If not, then people would be wondering what the heck is going on with me," Hamilton said. "At least people know that I'm out here battling with my teammates."

In all likelihood, Hamilton won't know the true extent of his injury until after the season.

Jeff Caplan covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

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