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Trout says he won't rush rehab of thumb

Angels star center fielder wants to be 100 percent before returning
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout spoke with the media Saturday for the first time since he underwent successful surgery on a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"When I did it, I knew it was messed up," Trout said. "It's frustrating. It was just a freak injury. I was diving for the bag, played hard and just happened to jam it and tear the ligament."

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ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout spoke with the media Saturday for the first time since he underwent successful surgery on a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"When I did it, I knew it was messed up," Trout said. "It's frustrating. It was just a freak injury. I was diving for the bag, played hard and just happened to jam it and tear the ligament."

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Trout, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list for the first time in his career, sustained the injury while sliding into second base against the Marlins on Sunday. He explained he pulled up short, lifting his head while sliding into second base because he thought he would have a chance at reaching third, as opposed to sliding through the bag. He then tried swinging a bat in the dugout before alerting trainers of discomfort and ultimately deciding not to return.

"The next day it was sore," he said. "When I got the MRI, I knew it was kind of messed up. A lot of things going through your mind, a lot of emotions. It was tough."

Trout opted for surgery over wearing a cast and taking a chance that the thumb would not heal properly. The timetable for his recovery is six to eight weeks.

"I was nervous," Trout said of his surgery. "You could ask anybody. It was pretty weird, but once I got in there, great nurses took care of me, and obviously, the doctor took very good care of me after, prepared me well, and it went by quick. I was in there, and I was done."

Trout is scheduled to have his cast removed Sunday, and will begin rehabbing immediately. As a result, he will not join the Angels on their six-game road trip next week. How soon he'll begin baseball activities is "up in the air" for now.

Video: MIN@LAA: Trout joins teammates in the dugout

"This is all going to be dictated by the medical opinion of Dr. Shin and where [Trout] is [physically]," said manager Mike Scioscia. "I'm sure that'll evolve as Dr. Shin gets more input from the examination, and [Trout will] start his therapy this week, and we'll go on."

Trout said he's not rushing back, and wants to ensure he's fully healthy prior to returning to the field.

"I want to be able to go out there and not think about [the injury]," Trout said. "I want to be able to go out there and not think about it, just go out there and play. I play the game hard. I think when you start thinking about risk of injury, that's when you get hurt. I want to be able to go out there and play pain-free.

"I want to be back as quick as I can. I just want to make sure it's fully healed."

Trout, who is currently the American League's leading vote-getter for this season's All Star Game presented by MasterCard, said it's a goal to return in time for the contest, but he wants to do whatever is best for his career, long-term.

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout