ATLANTA -- Mike Hampton is back in a familiar position _ trying to rebound from an injury.
The Atlanta pitcher has a herniated disk in his back, putting him on the disabled list for the fourth time this season. He will attempt to play catch on Tuesday and see how the back feels.
The Braves' game against the Washington Nationals was rained out Monday night as Hurricane Katrina moved inland, drenching Atlanta and spawning several tornado warnings in north Georgia.
A doubleheader will be played on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hampton is hoping to get back on the mound after receiving an epidural injection last week to alleviate his pain. He is eligible to come off the DL on Sept. 4.
"It's been pretty much a nightmare season," Hampton said. "Injury after injury. That's the most frustrating part, not to be able to do something that you've done for so long and that you love to do."
Hampton has made only 12 starts, going 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA. The left-hander went on the DL the first two times because of a sore forearm, then was sidelined by the back problem. He came back for two starts but was hit hard, giving up 20 hits and 10 earned runs in 8 1-3 innings. An MRI exam revealed that a disc initially diagnosed as bulging was actually herniated.
"I'm not going to take the mound if it's not going to help this team get better. It's not fair to myself and it's not fair to this team for me to come back for selfish reasons," he said. "But if I feel I can help this team get better and I can be an asset, I'll definitely pitch again."
The Braves' rotation has remained strong despite injuries to Hampton and John Thomson, who missed nearly three months with a finger injury. Jorge Sosa (9-2, 2.56) has filled in brilliantly, and Kyle Davies came up from the minors to win six games.
Hampton is eager to do his part.
"I want to help this team win a World Series," he said. "I'm not giving up on this season until I physically feel that I can't help this team. Then I'll have to come to grips with that."
Turner Field battened down for the arrival of Katrina -- or, more accurately, the leftovers from the massive storm. Sand bags were piled in the tunnel leading from the visitors dugout to the clubhouse to prevent flooding. Tractors and golf carts were placed on the infield tarp to prevent it from being swept away by gusting winds.
The rain started late in the afternoon and showed no signs of letting up as Katrina's remnants moved northward. The game was postponed nearly two hours before it was scheduled to begin.
The Braves held a 4½-game lead in the NL East. Slumping Washington -- which led the division much of the first half of the season -- has dropped into last place, seven games back.
Both teams simply pushed back their pitching plans. Sosa and Washington's John Patterson (8-4), scheduled to start Monday, will face each other on Tuesday night instead.
Thomson and Livan Hernandez of the Nationals will get an extra day of rest before starting in Wednesday's doubleheader, which starts at 4:35 p.m.
It was the second rainout of the season at Turner Field, which has lost only seven games to inclement weather in its nine-year history.
On July 6, a game against the Chicago Cubs was called off after Tropical Storm Cindy pounded the Gulf Coast and brought heavy rains to Atlanta, about 300 miles away.