Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout uncertain of return date

May 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs towards home plate to score a run during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout says he is pleased with his recovery from a right calf strain, but he isn’t ready to set a target date for his return to the lineup.

The three-time American League Most Valuable Player, who is hitting .333 with a .466 on-base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage this season, has not played since leaving a game May 17 in the second inning due to the injury.

Trout told the media on Monday that he is “doing as much as I can to strengthen around the calf muscle.” However, he added that he would not be able to estimate his return until he is able to begin jogging, which would be soon.

“Today was probably my best day yet, as far as tolerance-wise. … Every day I come in, I’m walking on the treadmill, but not with any intensity yet. But I’m just very happy with my progress so far,” he said.

Trout is expected back in July, though part of the uncertainty is whether he would return before the All-Star break begins July 12.

The injury, which Trout has called “a freak thing,” happened in the bottom of the first inning against the Cleveland Indians. He was on second base with two outs, and as he headed for third on a popout, he slowed down to barely a trot and limped to the dugout.

“When I put my head down, I thought I got hit by the ball. I thought I got hit by like a line drive. … And then I got to the bag and then I said, ‘Man, something’s not right.'” Trout said at the time.

“And then I felt a pop and then I went down to the tunnel, made sure it wasn’t my Achilles, so I mean, I guess if there’s any positive coming out of it, it’s that it wasn’t my Achilles because that’s what scared me when it first happened.”

The Angels were 18-22 and in fourth place in the American League West after beating Cleveland on May 17, six games behind the first-place Oakland A’s. Following Los Angeles’ 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday, the Angels are still four games under .500 and still fourth in the West, 6 1/2 games behind Oakland.

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–Field Level Media