Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: March 15, 4:22 PM ET
Josh Hamilton (heel) in lineup
By Master Tesfatsion
Special Contributor / ESPNDallas.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton will return to the lineup Thursday after the Texas Rangers outfielder jammed his right heel in the second inning of Wednesday's exhibition game against the Colorado Rockies.
He will play center field and bat third against the Oakland Athletics.
Hamilton, playing left field, suffered the injury chasing down Todd Helton's double in the second inning. He left the game and iced the heel and the lower ankle area.
"I just went to turn and came up short," Hamilton said Thursday. "I guess I stunned my heel. Instead of pushing it, I decided to come out. It's OK. It was just sore."
The Rangers learned earlier Wednesday that center fielder Craig Gentry would miss 3-5 days with a sprained left wrist, which he suffered Tuesday diving for a ball against the Cleveland Indians.
Assistant GM Thad Levine said Gentry was checked out by the Indians' hand and wrist expert, Dr. Thomas Graham, after he left the game. A fluoroscan revealed no break.
Gentry will not accompany the Rangers on their weekend series against the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas. Outfielder Julio Borbon will go in his place.
In other Rangers news, catcher Mike Napoli hit and jogged for the first time Wednesday since he was scratched from the lineup with mild tightness in his left groin. He said he's taking it easy and will be ready to go for Opening Day.
"I just shut it down rather than me hurting it really bad," Napoli said. "I don't think it's a big deal."
Also, second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to action Wednesday after missing three games with mild stiffness in his lower back.
Master Tesfatsion is covering the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.