ATLANTA (AP) -Mike Hampton's long procession of comeback attempts is taking an emotional toll that forced him to at least briefly consider retirement.
Hampton left his rehab start at Triple-A Richmond on Wednesday after aggravating his injured left pectoral muscle. The Atlanta Braves left-hander first suffered the chest injury in pregame warmups on April 3 when he was only minutes away from completing a comeback from two elbow surgeries. The start would have been his first in almost three years, but instead he was placed on the disabled list.
After his latest setback, Hampton has been advised to sit out longer before trying to pitch again.
The disappointment made Hampton think about retiring.
``I'd be lying, lying to myself, if I said things like that don't creep into your mind when you go through setback after setback after setback,'' Hampton said Saturday. ``With this latest one, they're just saying all we can do is just wait and see. Nobody has any treatment. Nobody has any answer, I don't think.''
The 35-year-old Hampton said he's not ready to walk away from the game.
``I'm going to exhaust every option, everything I can do to get back on the field and I've done that for three years now,'' he said.
``There's a breaking point with everybody. I've remained positive for a long, long time. Now I have no answers. Physically and mentally I've prepared myself to get on the field and be successful and further my career. Whatever it may be, it's just tough for me to get back on the field.''
Hampton has suffered other setbacks since making his last appearance in a major league game on Aug. 19, 2005.
He pitched only one inning in Mexico this winter before slipping on the mound and injuring his hamstring. He strained his groin in the second inning of his second spring training game.
Hampton rebounded from the setbacks to post a 2.16 ERA in five spring starts. Hampton won a spot in the rotation before being scratched from his scheduled first start.
Hampton is 53-48 with a 4.80 ERA in 134 starts since signing a $121 million, eight-year contract with Colorado before the 2001 season. He made his last start for Atlanta on Aug. 19, 2005.
Advertisement

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Bautista re-signs, Blue Jays 30/1 Jose Bautista is heading back to Toronto on a one-year deal. What are the current odds of the Blue Jays to win the World Series?
Thumbnail Jays, Bautista could be close to deal Could the Blue Jays be nearing a new deal with slugger Jose Bautista?
Thumbnail Red Sox favored to win AL Pennant The Boston Red Sox are favored to win the 2017 American League Pennant, while the defending champs have the next-best odds.
Thumbnail Updated 2017 NL Pennant Odds The Chicago Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 National League Pennant at 9/5, but which team is listed second?
Thumbnail Cubs remain World Series Favorites The Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 World Series while the Red Sox have the next-best odds according to oddsmakers.

MLB Team Pages