Wren: Hampton ready to make another comeback in spring training

By: associated press
By: associated press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Mike Hampton, who hasn't pitched in a major league game since 2005, is expected to be ready for the start of spring training as he continues his comeback from two elbow surgeries and a hamstring injury.

Hampton has to show he is healthy. It is too early to list the left-hander among the Atlanta Braves' projected starters as pitching coach Roger McDowell's conditioning camp begins tomorrow at Turner Field, two weeks before the start of spring training.

General manager Frank Wren says Hampton has full clearance to join workouts when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 14th.

Wren said of Hampton, "He's fine. He's 100 percent. He has no restrictions going into spring training."

Hampton has been working out in Phoenix and may not join the voluntary conditioning camp in Atlanta.

Hampton suffered a right hamstring injury in the first inning of his first start in a winter league game in Mexico in November. This came after his 2007 season ended when he suffered a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow last spring as he was making a comeback from ligament replacement surgery in the elbow.

The hamstring injury renewed doubts that Hampton, 35, can remain healthy and join John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Tom Glavine to give the team four former 20-game winners, each with more than 130 career wins.

Wren said Hampton has fully recovered from the hamstring injury. Wren said the injury shouldn't hurt Hampton's comeback chances.

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