Hamilton's return still uncertain

BALTIMORE -- All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton rejoined the Texas Rangers on Saturday, uncertain when his back injury will enable him to return to the lineup.

Hamilton left Wednesday's game against Toronto with a pinched nerve. He received an epidural Thursday, and because the shot did not take effect by Friday morning, he did not accompany the Rangers on their flight to Baltimore.

He arrived Saturday, but appeared to have difficulty walking.

On Friday, he got an epidural from the team doctor in an effort to calm down the injury.

"There is no difference," Hamilton said. "I've got a toothache in my leg."

With the Rangers in contention for both the AL West title and the wild-card spot, manager Ron Washington will have to exercise patience before inserting Hamilton into the lineup.

"When he says he's ready, he's back out there," Washington said before Saturday's game against the Orioles. "It's not going to be, 'I'm close,' and then I'm tempted to put him in there."

Hamilton has had two stints on the disabled list this season and has played in only 87 games. He started his second All-Star game, and after hitting .342 in August, appeared ready to help his team's push for the playoffs.

"All I can do is come in and get treatment and see if the shot takes effect," Hamilton said. "The good thing is there is no DL this time of year."