Mike Trout: Surgery better option than waiting, DH-only role



ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout decided that having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee was a better alternative than postponing the procedure and being a designated hitter the rest of the season.

“It was an option they put out there,” the Los Angeles Angels slugger said before Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals. “It would have been just maintaining the pain level of it. The day I got the MRI and it showed [a tear], I was in a lot of pain, so it would have been a tough road for the rest of the year to bear that. I felt the best option for me was to get it right and be fully healthy to come back soon.”

Trout has also struggled whenever he has been a designated hitter. In 1,518 career games, he has been the DH only 81 times and has a .214 batting average.

Trout — who is sidelined with a major injury for the fourth straight season — still doesn’t know when the latest one occurred. The knee soreness worsened during an April 29 game against the Philadelphia Phillies, and an MRI taken the next day revealed the tear. He underwent surgery last Friday, when the Angels began a six-game road trip.

“It wasn’t one particular play that did it. I felt a little ache and woke up the next day and couldn’t walk,” he said.

Baseball players who have had a similar injury and operation have an average recovery time of four to eight weeks, but Trout hasn’t had one set, as of yet. He said the only things he has been able to do post-surgery are stretching and trying to strengthen the quadricep muscle and the area around it.

The three-time AL MVP led the majors with 10 home runs at the time of the injury. He also was batting .220 with 14 RBIs and six stolen bases.

While Trout is expected to return this season, a timeframe for his return remains unclear.

“It’s tough because I felt real good [to begin the season], but things just happen. I’m doing everything I can to get back on the field,” Trout said. “I want to go as fast as I can, but I don’t want to push it.”

The Angels went into Thursday’s game with a 14-23 record after splitting their six-game road trip.

Manager Ron Washington was glad to see Trout still in an upbeat mood, but was more pleased to see him in the hitter’s meeting before the Angels took batting practice.

“No one is asking Mike to be in those meetings. Mike is at the ballpark because Mike wants to be around his teammates,” Washington said. “Any tidbits that he can give to them while he’s here, we welcome.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.



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