Hamilton takes BP, but still out

DETROIT -- All-Star center fielder Josh Hamilton took batting practice Thursday but still isn't sure when he'll return to the Texas Rangers' lineup.

Hamilton, who aggravated a right groin muscle while making a catch at the wall Sunday, missed his third straight start. He said it felt good to hit, but added that he still had soreness in his leg.

"I'd like to rest and be ready at 95 percent than come back Friday and have a setback," he said before Thursday's game against the Tigers.

Manager Ron Washington said he hoped to have him and closer Frank Francisco back when the club starts a series Friday in Houston. He said he doesn't think the slugger's injury is serious.

"It's not a disabled list situation," the manager said.

Hamilton, last season's AL RBI champ, is hitting .239 with five homers and 19 RBIs. Francisco, on the DL since May 7 with right biceps tendinitis, has nine of the Rangers' 12 saves.