Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout received good news regarding his back injury on Sunday after meeting with spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, and the caution surrounding his situation has taken a positive step forward.
Trout hasn’t appeared in a game since July 12 after exiting in the sixth inning of the Angels matchup with the Houston Astros with some back spasms. After the initial diagnosis was changed to rib cage inflammation, Trout was told he had a rare back condition that sparked some wild reactions on his future.
But following his meeting with Dr. Watkins, Trout’s path to returning to the diamond is a lot clearer, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It went from my career is over to hopefully I’m going to play soon,” Trout said with a smile. “But it’s just one of those things. It’s scary. A back injury for a baseball player. You go through stuff. I get it. But you like hearing news from a doctor who knows what he’s talking about, and Watkins is one of the best.”
This condition is rare for athletes, and even more for baseball players, but the motions that are foundational movements are affected by it and when it began is an unknown.
“I couldn’t pinpoint how it happened,” Trout said. “I think it happened over time. I was swinging more than I usually do. It just flared up. I couldn’t tell you exactly. As a baseball player, you swing a lot and do a lot of activity, and sometimes, things act up.”
Angels head athletic trainer Mike Frostad explained that Trout’s back has ‘essentially healed’ and the plan will be to monitor the condition, perhaps for the rest of his career.
Trout commits to Team USA in 2023 World Baseball Classic
Trout revealed last week that he will be competing and serving as the captain for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
“I was excited when [Team USA GM Tony Reagins] first came up and talked to me,” Trout said. “It means a lot. I missed the opportunity the first time and I knew this was a chance I can’t miss. It’ll be fun for the team that we put together, and I’m looking forward to it in March.”