ANAHEIM -- Speaking to reporters for the first time since his diagnosis of turf toe, Angels left fielder Justin Upton on Sunday said he was surprised to hear the injury would keep him out for the first two to three months of the season.
Upton, who injured his left big toe while running into the left-field wall in an exhibition game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium on March 24, was officially diagnosed with turf toe on March 29. The initial expectation was that he would be out for roughly three weeks, but it was upped to eight to 12 weeks because of the severity of the injury.
“Yeah, I was definitely surprised,” Upton said. “I’ve never dealt with this before. So I don’t know what the recovery process is like. It is what it is. I’m not a doctor. I just have to take the advice I get and use it.”
Upton said he has had worse collisions with the wall in the past, but he just got unlucky. His toe was hyperextended after hitting near the base of the wall, though not the concrete.
“I’ve run into the wall plenty of times,” Upton said. “My foot was a little bit sore. But it got worse as the night went on. I hit the padding. I just hit the padding the wrong way.”
Upton is wearing a walking boot for a month and said right now it’s mostly a waiting game, as he can’t do much to rehab his toe before it fully heals.
“I’m not in a ton of pain, but I know what’s in there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of waiting, just trying to keep the range of motion as best as possible without irritating it. That’s where we’re at right now. It’s still a little bit swollen. It’s not as bad as it was. It’ll go away with time, I guess.”
Brian Goodwin, Peter Bourjos and David Fletcher will fill in for Upton in left field during his absence, and manager Brad Ausmus said he can’t dwell on Upton’s injury, as he has to focus on his current roster. Ausmus added that’s a similar situation with Shohei Ohtani, who is on track for a return in early May as a designated hitter after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1.
“I check on those guys,” Ausmus said. “I make sure they are progressing properly, but the only thing I can control is who is able to play that day, who is on the 25-man roster. That’s what I go with. I can’t do anything about the guys that are hurt. I hope they come back sooner than later. No use crying over spilt milk.”
Calhoun held out as a precaution
After running into the right-field wall on Saturday and banging the inside of his right knee, right fielder Kole Calhoun wasn’t in the starting lineup on Sunday. Goodwin started in right and Fletcher in left. But Calhoun said he expects to be in the lineup on Monday against the Brewers.
"Kole is all right -- a little tenderness," Ausmus said. "He also hadn’t had a day off, which kind of played into it for me."