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Josh Hamilton prefers a new deal before season

GARLAND - Josh Hamilton said he's recovering nicely from off-season hernia surgery and expects to be ready for spring training.

"It's 90 percent better than it was compared to the playoffs, so I've been doing my rehab and doing everything I can so I can come to spring training strong," Hamilton said before speaking to a group of kids at a free hitting exhibition presented by MLB Network's Harold Reynolds.

"I've been doing pool exercises, a lot of stability stuff with my core. I've been doing the normal stuff - the Jane Fonda stuff - you can imagine what those look like.

"The day after surgery I walked two miles. I did that every day the first week, and then on the seventh day I started running. Everything that was detached got reattached and I'm good to go. If we were playing right now, I'd probably be playing."

Hamilton, entering the final year of a two-year, $24 million deal he signed before last season, said he won't be upset if he doesn't reach an agreement with the Rangers on an extension before the season starts, although he'd like to get a deal done.

Hamilton, who would become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season, said he's not looking to leave Texas - as long as he receives a fair offer from the club.

In four seasons with the Rangers, the 30-year-old Hamilton has hit .310 with 99 homers and 378 RBI. He's won an MVP award and led the Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances. The only drawback is that he's averaged just 124 games a season.

"Obviously I love it here," he said. "It always comes down to being treated fairly. I've been this way since I signed out of high school. Treat me fair and don't come in with no ridiculously low stuff."