When Mike Trout was diagnosed with a rare back condition, many thought the career for the future Hall of Famer was in jeopardy. But after recent positive news, the Los Angeles Angels believe he will be back on the field fairly soon.
Trout hasn’t played since July 12 and was forced to miss the Midsummer Classic in what was his 10th career All-Star Game selection. His condition has been worrisome given his importance to the game and the upwards trajectory he’s taken amongst Major League Baseball stars since his debut.
However, a meeting with spine specialist Dr. Watkins was positive enough that the Angels and head athletic trainer, Mike Frostad, believe Trout will be back sooner than originally thought, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“Mike’s doing well,” Frostad said. “He’s progressing as we expected. He’s just continuing to go through his program right now. Everything’s looking good.”
Frostad said they will “take it day to day” with Trout to determine when he can advance to swinging a bat.
General manager Perry Minasian has remained optimistic that Trout’s availability hinges on his progress and that Trout is eager to get back with the team.
“I fully expect him to play again this season,” Minasian said. “I know he’s excited to get back on the field and working really hard to get there.”
From June 20 until he left with his injury on July 12, Trout was in the middle of a slump as he posted a wRC+ of 83 with a .200 batting average and a .286 wOBA.
Looking ahead at Trout’s impact on Angels
The Angels’ season has already taken a turn away from being competitive in terms of aiming for a deep playoff run with the trades that Minasian orchestrated to shed salary in the years ahead.
With much of the pressure taken off of himself on the status of the season, Trout is able to ensure that he returns to the field in a healthy spot and isn’t rushing himself back for a postseason push that just isn’t there.
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