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Rangers hope Josh Hamilton (knee) can return to lineup in early May

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Hamilton optimistic after stem cell procedure (2:01)

Rangers OF Josh Hamilton discusses his timetable to return after getting stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections in his sore left knee and how lingering injuries can impact a hitter. (2:01)

The Texas Rangers hope outfielder Josh Hamilton will be ready to return to lineup by early May after getting stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections in his sore left knee, the team announced Wednesday.

Hamilton, who visited with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama on Monday to get a second opinion on the knee, will be on crutches for seven to 10 days and will begin the season on the disabled list.

He is projected to need eight weeks of recovery time, and assistant general manager Thad Levine said Hamilton would likely start a minor league rehab assignment in late April.

Levine hopes the 2010 American League MVP can return to the Rangers' lineup in early May.

"The reason we are giving him an eight-week program is so we don't cut any corners and give him a full spring training," Levine said.

The five-time All-Star said last week he was experiencing soreness caused by an inflamed capsule behind his left knee. Hamilton had surgery on the knee twice last year, in September and then again after the season, following his return for the end of the regular season and the playoffs.

After the October surgery, Hamilton didn't take batting practice until Jan. 22, the day after a cortisone shot. He had been going through baseball activities last week after arriving early to spring training in Surprise, Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.