ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout will be sidelined indefinitely.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout, a two-time American League MVP, will be sidelined indefinitely after an MRI Monday confirmed he suffered a torn ligament, the UCL, in his left thumb in Sunday’s game at Miami.
Trout slid into second base head first on a steal attempt Sunday and jammed his thumb into the base of the bag. He came out of the game hoping it was just a strain, and X-rays taken at the time were negative.
The MRI was conducted Monday at Hoag Hospital in Anaheim by Dr. Stephen Shin, a hand specialist at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.
“Surgery is one of the options, ” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said before Monday’s game against Atlanta. “The doctor will sit down tonight with Mike and go over all of the options available.
“Surgery has a very high success rate. He conceivably could be back in five to eight weeks, but that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. He could rehab the tear and try to play without surgery, but with a tear, there’s always the risk of making things worse.
“His durability has always been an arrow in his quiver. It’s a lot for Mike to absorb. He’s never had an injury like this where surgery is an option. He’s just trying to digest the news. He’ll make a decision when he knows what all the options are.”
Trout was at the park Monday but unavailable to the media until he met with Dr. Shin and has a chance to talk to Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia.
The last player with a comparable injury was Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, who also tore the UCL while sliding into second base head first in 2014. He had surgery and spent more than two months on the disabled list before returning. He finished the season with better numbers after the surgery than he did before the injury.
There’s no question that Trout’s injury will have a major impact on a club that he has led since becoming a regular in 2012 and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. Trout is hitting.337 with a .461 on-base percentage, .742 slugging rate, and a 1.203 OPS. He has 16 home runs, 36 RBIs and 10 steals.
He ranks first in the AL in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. He is tied for the league lead in home runs, second in average and fourth in RBIs.
The Angels came into Monday’s game 26-27 and 10 games behind Houston in the AL West but a few games behind the contenders for a wild-card playoff spot. It’s the latest injury to a team that has undergone major changes in all parts of the pitching staff.
“It’s hard to quantify his value to the team, ” Eppler said. “He’s a team leader in the clubhouse. He’s a great offensive player and he’s the middle of our team’s defense. It’s tough to absorb.”
“Mike will make the best decision for him, ” Scioscia said. “Last night, he said it just felt sore. Everyone knows he’s the kind of guy who wants to play. He’ll sort it out. It’s a close clubhouse. He’ll have a lot of support from his teammates.”
The Angels placed Trout on the 10-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Eric Young Jr. from Triple-A Salt Lake City. The 31-year-old Young is the son of former major league infielder Eric Young, who spent 15 years in the majors.
Young Jr. has nine years of major league experience, with a .246 career average and 145 steals. He has been playing well for the Bees, hitting.354 with a .419 on-base percentage, five home runs, 26 RBIs and 15 steals. He arrived in Anaheim early Monday and started Monday’s game against Atlanta.