Angels Injury Update: Shohei Ohtani ‘Feels Really Close’ To Returning After Being Scratched From Lineup Against Mariners
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani was scratched from the Los Angeles Angels lineup for their series opener against the Baltimore Orioles last week after sustaining a right oblique injury during batting practice, and he went on to miss all seven games of the homestand.

Ohtani underwent testing, which revealed minor inflammation but no strain. The Angels determined the two-way star did not need a stint on the 10-day injured list and believed his condition would improve with rest.

Ohtani made progress and had hoped to return in the Angels’ series opener against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Monday. However, he was again scratched from the lineup after feeling the effects of his right oblique injury.

Angels manager Phil Nevin explained that Ohtani didn’t feel fully healthy when swinging a bat and asked for a little more time off, per Rhett Bollinger and Brent Maguire of

“He was confident that today would be OK, but when he came in and warmed up, did all his treatment, took some swings in the cage, he just didn’t feel quite 100 percent,” manager Phil Nevin said. “I understand that. He just told me today is not the day yet.”

Nevin added that Ohtani is close to returning and could be back in the Angels lineup as soon as Tuesday:

“He feels really close,” Nevin said. “It just didn’t work out today. But it could be tomorrow. It could be Wednesday. But he feels confident it’s any day now.”

Ohtani’s oblique injury came at an unfortunate time as it happened on the same day that his agent, Nez Balelo, said the 29-year-old might eventually need surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

Ohtani sustained the elbow injury during a start against the Cincinnati Reds on August 23 and will not pitch again for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Ohtani is heading into the final weeks of what has been one of the best individual seasons in MLB history. The clear frontrunner for American League MVP honors, Ohtani entered play Tuesday leading all players with 10 wins above replacement (WAR).

Ohtani is batting a stellar .304/.412/.654 with 26 doubles, eight triples, 44 home runs, 95 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 599 plate appearances (135 games). On the mound, he is 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 1.06 WHIP and 11.4 strikeouts per nine in 132 innings pitched (23 starts).

Angels don’t ‘have the pulse’ of Shohei Ohtani and his future plans

Despite his latest elbow injury, Ohtani figures to have a robust market as a free agent this offseason. As he goes over his options, the Angels are said to not have an inside track on his future plans.

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