Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will start the season on the disabled list because of an injured left knee.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said the five-time All-Star, bothered by swelling in the knee, received a stem cell and platelet rich plasma injection Monday, when he was examined by Dr. James Andrews.

Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, will be on crutches for seven-to-10 days and is projected to need eight weeks of recovery time. Levine said Hamilton likely would start a minor league rehabilitation assignment in late April and the Rangers hope he will return to their lineup in early May.

Levine says "the reason we are giving him an eight-week program is so we don't cut any corners and give him a full spring training."

"Obviously it's frustrating and disappointing," Hamilton said Wednesday. "As an athlete, you don't want to be pushed back and wait and have a drawn-out time period to get back. That stinks. At the same time, I really felt like it was something that needed to be done now."

Hamilton will be making his 11th trip to the disabled list.

After reporting to spring training last week, Hamilton experienced soreness caused by an inflamed capsule behind his left knee. He had surgery twice on the knee last year, in September and then after the season following his return for the end of the regular season and the playoffs.

After the October surgery, Hamilton didn't taking batting practice again until Jan. 22, the day after a cortisone shot.

Hamilton, who turns 35 on May 1, never went to spring training last year with the Los Angeles Angels when he was coming off shoulder surgery and a self-reported relapse with alcohol and cocaine. An arbitrator ruled Major League Baseball could not discipline him for that.

He was traded back to Texas at the end of April and made his season debut May 25. Hamilton hit .253 with eight homers in 170 at-bats over 50 games for the Rangers last season.