Hamels laughs off sprained ankle, is optimistic about prognosis

The look on Cole Hamels face as he disgustedly flipped the ball to nobody in particular while walking off the mound said it all.

Five days after a line drive off the bat of Prince Fielder knocked him out of his last start in the fourth, the ace lefthander appeared to roll his ankle while fielding a bunt, sending him to the dugout with one out in the fifth inning.

Speaking after the game, Hamels said he hopes to make his next start, although manager Charlie Manuel cautioned that the team would not know the odds of him doing so until it sees how the ankle responds.

“Things are snowballing for the worse for me, but the team is winning,” said Hamels, who pitched a career high 227 1/3 innnings last season but through four starts has accumulated just 21 1/3. “It’s one of those things where some random things happen. It’s unfortunate, but truly nothing has been too serious. The last one wasn’t bad. . .This ankle injury, it’s not severe. I’m not planning on missing a start. Obviously we have to see how it feels in the next couple days, but I think it helps that we have an off day. So I’m on a six day recovery period instead of five.”