Hamilton holds off on back surgery

October 23, 2001

It looks like Devil Rays top prospect Josh Hamilton won’t have back surgery after all.

Arizona Diamondbacks back specialist Volker Sonntag examined Hamilton and recommended a steroid injection, rest and rehabilitation to alleviate the lower back pain that has plagued Hamilton since March.

Hamilton missed the first week of the Arizona Fall league with a sore shoulder and then played just two games before having trouble with his back. The Tampa Tribune reported Friday that he would have surgery on a herniated disc on his lower back.

Now the Devil Rays expect him to be ready to play by spring training in February.

Hamilton, who was involved in a car accident during spring training, played only 27 games during the regular season because of back and leg problems.