ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout had successful surgery on his injured left thumb Wednesday, and the Los Angeles Angels slugger is likely to be out for at least six weeks.
Dr. Steve Shin performed surgery on Trout’s ulnar collateral ligament and dorsal capsule, the Angels said. The typical recovery time for the procedure is six to eight weeks.
“We’re going to count the days, and we’re excited that everything went well,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to get good news as he starts to work through his rehab and when he can pick up the bat.”
Trout injured his hand while sliding headfirst into second base in Miami on Sunday, and is going on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
The two-time AL MVP is off to another spectacular start to the season, batting .337 with 16 homers, 36 RBIs and a 1.203 OPS. He leads the AL in on-base percentage (.461), slugging percentage (.742), extra-base hits (32) and walks (36).
Scioscia and the Angels seem hopeful of a relatively quick recovery from an injury that can vary widely in its severity. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons had a similar surgery and returned in five weeks last season.
“It will hopefully (provide) a stronger repair, and it’s something that will hold up a little longer,” Scioscia said of Trout’s surgery.
The Angels acknowledge the enormous task they face in replacing Trout’s contributions to their offence for at least another month. Despite Trout’s outsized numbers, Los Angeles began Wednesday with the AL’s second-worst batting average (.237) and slugging percentage (.380).
“I think it’s magnified right now, because you look at our lineup, and Mike was really adding so much because so many guys have struggled,” Scioscia said. “Mike’s loss is not going to be made up with production from one person. But collectively, one through nine, if we get guys to swing the bats to their capabilities, we can absorb the loss of Mike, hopefully, for the time he’s out, and move forward.”
The Halos earned their first victory since Trout’s injury Tuesday night, putting together a nine-run rally in the third inning of a 9-3 victory over Atlanta. Albert Pujols drove in the first runs in that rally with a three-run homer, the 599th of his career.
While the Angels attempt to stay afloat this summer without their centerpiece, Scioscia expects to rely on Pujols in particular. The 37-year-old designated hitter has driven in 38 runs in 47 games this season, and he homered in each of Los Angeles’ first two games without Trout.
“There’s one thing about Albert: Seems like when other guys are either slumping or injured, he takes it on and does not want to be out of the lineup,” Scioscia said. “If he had a scheduled day off and something happened, he comes in and says, ‘Hey, I’m playing. I’m going to play. I feel good.’ I think he does feel a responsibility to be out there, because he knows how important he is to the team, especially when a guy like Mike is out, and maybe some other guys aren’t swinging the bats to their capabilities.”