Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout has been on the sidelines for over six weeks while recovering from a Grade 2 calf strain. He suffered the injury while running the bases on May 17, and was given an initial return timeline of 6-8 weeks.
That timeline may have been a bit optimistic, as the Angels recently made a move that signaled a return will not be coming before the All-Star break. They moved Trout from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, meaning his return cannot come before July 17. If he returns on July 17, which is the Angels second game back from the All-Star break, he will have missed eight weeks and five days.
Despite that news being less than ideal, there is some good to come of it. Trout spoke about his recovery and its progression, saying that things are going exactly as planned as to his current baseball activity, according to Associated Press at NBC Sports:
“Mentally, just being able to do stuff and not having to worry about it has been big,” Trout said. “It’s still just getting that strength back. Once the tissue grows back it is about getting the mobility back too.”
“I think the last thing that’s going to get me from coming back is running. I have to be able to run full speed and with no pain. The last thing I want to do is come back too early and tear it again,” he said.
A calf strain is not an injury that can be messed around with. The re-injury risk is very high if the player is not fully healed when they return, so cautiousness is absolutely the correct way to go about it. Luckily, the Angels have exceeded expectations thus far in his absence.
When he went down, Joe Maddon was hoping to maintain a .500 pace so that the team could remain competitive when he returns. Well, as of July 2, the Angels are 22-19 with Trout out of the lineup and could capitalize on that with two more games against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
If the Angels can be hovering a .500 record in total when Trout returns, they’ll have just enough time to try and go for a late playoff push.
Justin Upton nearing return
Justin Upton has spent a little over a week on the 10-day IL with a back strain. Luckily, it appears Upton — who was red-hot at the plate before his injury — could be returning as soon as Sunday, July 4, against the Orioles. If not, he’ll almost certainly be back for the Angels three-game set against the Boston Red Sox.