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Simmons to DL with Grade 2 ankle sprain

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the 10-day disabled list with a Grade 2 right ankle sprain before Wednesday night's game against the Royals. In a corresponding move, the club recalled utility man Kaleb Cowart from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Simmons was injured shortly before the first pitch of Tuesday's 1-0 win over Kansas City when he slipped on the dugout steps. He proceeded to take the field when the game started just four minutes later, but he was eventually forced to depart after two innings.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the 10-day disabled list with a Grade 2 right ankle sprain before Wednesday night's game against the Royals. In a corresponding move, the club recalled utility man Kaleb Cowart from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Simmons was injured shortly before the first pitch of Tuesday's 1-0 win over Kansas City when he slipped on the dugout steps. He proceeded to take the field when the game started just four minutes later, but he was eventually forced to depart after two innings.

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"He's an important guy to us," manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. "The way it happened is probably tougher to stomach than anything, just coming down the steps. But it happens, and we'll get back out there."

Simmons said he underwent an MRI exam that showed "some damage" in his ankle, though nothing serious enough to warrant surgery. There is currently no timetable for his return, though Simmons said he's hoping to only miss the requisite 10 days. Simmons is currently walking around on crutches to minimize the strain on his balky ankle.

"I'm planning to be back on my feet, moving around, as soon as possible," Simmons said. "But got to play it smart. We'll see. I'm just pissed I'm going to miss a couple games. That's the only thing that's really bothering me right now."

Video: Scioscia discusses Simmons landing on disabled list

Losing Simmons for an extended period of time is a significant blow for the Angels. The 28-year-old has been one of their most consistent hitters this season, batting .330 with an .860 OPS while providing his usual Gold Glove-caliber defense at shortstop.

Simmons' injury will give Zack Cozart a chance to return to shortstop, his natural position. Cozart exclusively played shortstop for the Reds before signing a three-year, $38 million deal with the Angels and transitioned to third base over the offseason. Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte and Cowart could all see time at third in the interim.

"Zack, he's an incredible shortstop," Scioscia said. "For us to have that luxury to be able to slide him over there is something that a lot of teams wouldn't be able to do."

Following Wednesday's game, the Angels will head to Minnesota for the start of a nine-game road trip, but Simmons said he plans on staying in Southern California as he recovers from the ankle sprain.

"I don't think the trainers want to deal with me for 10 days," Simmons joked. "I'll be staying back."

Pujols also on the mend
Albert Pujols was not in the Angels' lineup for the second consecutive game on Wednesday because of a sore left knee. Scioscia said the Angels had planned on combining the two days of repose with Thursday's off-day to give the 38-year-old Pujols a chance to recharge. Scioscia said he expects Pujols to return to the lineup on Friday against the Twins.

"We're going to manage it," Scioscia said. "I don't think it's anything that we can't take care of with a little bit of rest or there. We want Albert to obviously get his looks in the batter's box. He's starting to really feel good and comfortable swinging the bat."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Andrelton Simmons