Mike Trout gets ready for rest and rehabilitation after surgery on left thumb – Los Angeles Times
Mike Trout sprinted toward second base Sunday afternoon in Miami, seeking his 10th stolen base of 2017. As he neared the base, he dropped his body into a headfirst slide, like he has thousands of times in two decades dedicated to baseball.
This time, Trout’s peripheral vision informed him the throw from home plate was bouncing away from Marlins shortstop J.T. Riddle, so he looked up to ascertain if he could take third base. He couldn’t, and when his eyes refocused on second base, it was too late. His left thumb had caught the base, overextended from his other fingers. He knew immediately he was hurt.
“When I picked my head up, I thought I was already on the bag,” Trout said Saturday at Angel Stadium, in his first public comments since undergoing surgery. “But I pulled up short, and that’s when I jammed my thumb.”
An MRI examination the next day confirmed Trout’s intuition. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, and the operation was planned for Wednesday at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. Trout said he had never had surgery of any kind. Before this, the most significant injury of his life was a strained hamstring that cost him six games last month.
“I was nervous, you can ask anybody,” he said. “It was pretty weird.”
Out of surgery, Trout insisted on heading to the stadium to watch Albert Pujols pursue the 600th home run of his career. He has come every night hoping to witness history, resolving to change nothing in his own steady pursuit.
“I play hard,” said Trout, who saw his teammate clobber a grand slam in the fourth inning for homer No. 600. “I’m still going to slide headfirst. I’ll just use a guard now.”
Trout said he discussed his options with several doctors and trainers and came to the conclusion that surgery was the best route. He did not want to elect against it, “be in a cast for three weeks, and never know if it had healed or not.”
His surgery included an InternalBrace stabilizing innovation that will allow him to begin rehabilitation exercises Monday, and, potentially, resume playing when he’s still feeling some soreness.
“It’s just tolerable pain,” Trout said, “and knowing that the ligament is back to normal.”
He continued: “I want to go out there and play pain-free. Obviously it’s going to be a little sore here and there, but I can’t think about it in the outfield.”
“I think when you start thinking about risk of injury, that’s when you get hurt,” Trout said.
He had an uncomfortable week, replete with pain, discomfort, and other feelings to which he is unaccustomed.
“The next day, I couldn’t even move it,” Trout said. “It was sore. I couldn’t sleep. … You have a lot of things going through your head. A lot of emotions. It was tough.”
Trout will get the cast taken off of his left hand Sunday. He said he had no idea what was planned for his initial exercises Monday, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia declined to reveal the club’s plans for its centerpiece.
“I think everyone that’s had the surgery and performed the surgery has a handle on what exactly the timeframe will be and what all the markers are that will get him back to where he needs to be,” Scioscia said.
Trout said he would keep it as a goal, but he expressed doubt he could be cleared to play by the July 11 All-Star game. He was given a six-to-eight-week recovery timetable, and the game will take place one day prior to six weeks from surgery.
He will not travel with the Angels to Detroit on Sunday. He said he retained hope of joining his teammates on their next trip to Boston and New York, near his hometown of Millville, N.J.
Until then, he will watch from his couch as new players promoted in his absence attempt to keep the Angels afloat.
“Lot of new faces coming up,” Trout said. “Everybody’s just gotta do their job. You can’t try to hit a home run every time. You just gotta do the small, little things, and just win ballgames.”