Hamels Hits A "bump in the road"

For the second time this winter, Cole Hamels has had back pain that had him in for an MRI. While there wasn't any change in the MRI since last December and the pain isn't as bad as it was then, it's just more proof that Hamels may have a hard time fulfilling his potential.

Cole Hamels thought it was just routine soreness until the pain intensified. After immediately getting an MRI, Hamels and the Phillies don't believe that the latest pain that he experienced in his lower back is anything to worry about. Just more of the same issue that he'll likely face throughout his career.

General Manager Pat Gillick described the latest incident as a "bump in the road" on Hamels' off-season regimen. He also said that the prized left-hander didn't need another cortisone shot and would be shut down for only a few days and will likely resume throwing on Monday.

As for Hamels, he agrees that there isn't much to be concerned about over the latest flare up. He believes that he'll be able to return to throwing by Monday and insists that he's right on target to be ready for spring training when pitchers and catchers report on February 16th.

Hamels said that his back condition is unusual and that the latest incident was caused by a degenerative disk pressing on a nerve. He also reported that specialists have found that his lower back works differently than most and that it's just a matter of staying on his specially designed workout program. For now, Hamels is on anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the problem.

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