Former MVP Hamilton released by Rangers as knee surgery looms


Josh Hamilton has run out of chances with the Texas Rangers after suffering yet another knee injury.

The MLB team released the former American League (AL) MVP from his minor league contract, a spokesman announced on Friday - a move that seems likely to bring an end to Hamilton's hopes of returning to the majors.

Texas said Hamilton injured his right knee while rehabbing from a February procedure to repair the meniscus in his left knee.

The 35-year-old five-time All-Star - who also won three Silver Slugger awards as well as the AL Championship Series MVP and AL batting champion gong - will need to have surgery on the right knee, the 11th time one of his knees has gone under the knife.

"I am disappointed but not discouraged that my knee problems have not allowed me to play this season," Hamilton said in a statement, via the Dallas Morning News.

"I plan to have surgery on my right knee and then evaluate the situation. I want to thank the Rangers and all of the great fans for the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it."

Hamilton, the number one overall pick in the 1999 MLB Draft, will turn 36 next month.

He has played in just 147 major league games (including the playoffs) since the start of the 2014 season, most recently appearing in a Rangers division series game October 14, 2015.

Though he was with the Rangers on a minor league deal, Hamilton will be paid $28million this season - the vast majority of it by the Angels - as the five-year, $125m contract he signed with Los Angeles in December 2012 finally runs out.