Braves' Hampton reportedly leaves rehab start with injury

Mike Hampton missed the last two seasons and skipped his opening start this year due to injuries. May was supposed to be the target. That might not happen either.

The Atlanta Braves left-hander left his rehab start in the fourth inning on Wednesday after feeling discomfort in his strained left pectoral muscle, according to a report on MLB.com.

"He was throwing good and then he just started feeling it during those last three pitches," Braves general manager Frank Wren said, according to the Web site. "He just thought it was best to come out."

Hampton, in the final season of an eight-year, $121 million contract, was slated to finally contribute to Atlanta this season. But while warming up for his April 3 start, he strained the muscle and went back to the disabled list.

He had been sidelined the last two seasons due to two separate surgical procedures on his left, throwing elbow.

Hampton was an All-Star in 1999 and finished second in Cy Young balloting when he went 22-4 with a 2.90 ERA for Houston. He has reached double-digits in wins three times since then, but injuries started to mount after he signed his big contract with the Colorado Rockies before the 2001 season.

The Braves traded for the lefty prior to the 2003 season, but he hasn't come close to living up to his contract. He made only 12 starts for the Braves in 2005.