There is concern for Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout’s future after he was diagnosed with a “rare condition” in his back.
Trout was placed on the injured list on July 18 with rib cage inflammation, but the rib injury has created pain in his back and delayed his return.
On Wednesday, Angels head athletic trainer Mike Frostad said Trout will likely have to manage the back condition “through the rest of his career.”
“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back,” Frostad said. “The doctor [Robert Watkins III], who is one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country – if not the world, doesn't see a lot of these.
“And 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. There's so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn't seen a lot of it.”
Trout, who turns 31 in August, still hasn’t resumed baseball activities since hitting the IL. He’s still at least a week away from getting back into action, as he has a follow-up appointment with Watkins next week.
After an injury-plagued 2021 season where he played just 36 games, Trout returned to his usual form in the first half of 2022. Through 79 games, the three-time AL MVP hit .270 with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs.
While Trout’s individual stardom hasn’t translated to team success for the Angels, there’s no denying that he’s been one of baseball’s best players since getting called up in 2011.