The Los Angeles Angels have managed better than just about anyone could have expected without superstar Mike Trout in the lineup. They are 24-20 since he suffered a Grade 2 calf strain, and have hovered at and around .500 for nearly his entire IL stint. Now, the question becomes when exactly he’ll return to the field.
He was placed on the 60-day IL as a part of other roster moves, making him ineligible to return prior to July 17. However, that date is not so far away. In fact, if he returned on July 17, he would miss just six more games, including Tuesday night. Recent progress being made in his rehab has provided some hope that a return on that date is possible.
Prior to the Angels Monday night game against the Boston Red Sox, Trout was seen on the field at Angel Stadium going through a routine batting practice, via Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
Mike Trout is taking swings on the field right now pic.twitter.com/KFnUEH1Srh
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) July 5, 2021
If this wasn’t convincing enough, Joe Maddon had a positive update to go along with it, saying that he’s really just one major step away from being able to return, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“There’s a lot of torque in his swing, but I would have to believe running hard has to be the one thing he’ll have to get through,” Maddon said. “The turns, the cuts, the stop-starts. Things of that nature. But the leg is really progressing well, according to the doctor. Everything is going in the right direction. It’s still going to be post-All-Star break.”
This is very similar to what Trout stated last week. Running is one of the very last steps of his rehab before he can be cleared to play, but it’s one of the hardest steps to take given the re-injury risk. Trout needs to ensure that every other part of his recovery is perfect before he attempts to run at full speed.
From the swings in the video and what Maddon said, it appears that Trout is all but ready to go offensively. It now just becomes about monitoring soreness and getting him to run before a return. If the Angels can hold strong and win a few more games before his return, they’ll be set up perfectly for a second-half playoff push.
Justin Upton, Anthony Rendon, Taylor Ward still on the mend
Maddon is hopeful to get one of his stars, one of his main contributors, and another important role player back in the lineup as soon as possible. Justin Upton, Anthony Rendon, and Taylor Ward are all nursing minor injuries and were hopeful to return as soon as Monday. However, none of them did, leading to questions about the severity of their injuries.