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The bad news for the Angels just keeps on coming.
Despite having perennial MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani and future Hall of Famer Mike Trout on the same roster, the Angels have stumbled their way to an abysmal season.
They fired manager Joe Maddon early in the year and somehow got worse, falling far out of playoff contention and becoming clear sellers at the upcoming trade deadline.
But that’s far from their biggest concern at the moment.
On Thursday, they got their worst news of the season: Trout could be out for the rest of the year and face potentially reoccurring health issues going forward.
According to the new report, Trout is dealing with an issue known as “costovertebral dysfunction at T5.”
The Angels head athletic trainer explained the condition and how it could impact him down the road:
“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back. (Dr. Robert Watkins), one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country, if not the world, doesn’t see a lot of these. For it to happen in a baseball player, we just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls. Jumping into the wall, things like that.”
Trout received a cortisone shot to attempt to manage the issue for the rest of the year, although it’s unclear if he’ll respond well enough to treatment to return this season.
Even more of a concern is that the Angels trainer suggested that this would be a problem Trout could face for the rest of his career.
That said, Trout got wind of the news and immediately reached out to local Angels beat writer Jeff Fletcher. According to him, the news is “all an exaggeration” and that “he will play again this year:”
Trout continued, “I got to stay on top of the routine I do on a daily basis to prevent it from coming back. I feel good where it’s at right now. Every day it’s improving. I felt really good today.”
His incredible skillset, offensively, defensively, and on the bases is essentially unmatched. His career statistics would make him a Hall of Famer if he retired today, but a healthy back end of his time in MLB would put him on track to exceed the rates of some historic, legendary figure from baseball history.
It’s encouraging that he says he’ll be able to return this year and seems confident in his ability to play through the pain going forward but this could be a significant setback for one of baseball’s greatest players.