ANAHEIM -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout underwent a minor procedure on his right foot on Monday to alleviate pain stemming from a nerve issue that has been bothering him for roughly a month. He’s considered day to day.
Trout, aiming for his third American League MVP Award this season, was diagnosed with a neuroma in his right foot and underwent a cryoablation procedure that essentially deadens tissue in the area. He was out of the lineup for Monday's opener against the Indians, but he could be back at some point in the the three-game series.
"I’m not in the medical field, but it’s a buildup of tissue around the nerve that causes pain," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "Today, he had a cryoablation that deadens the tissue, deadens the nerve area. So, he’ll miss a couple days, but we don’t expect him to miss more than a couple days. But that’s why he’s not in the lineup.”
Trout was originally in the lineup against the White Sox on Sunday, but he was scratched due to discomfort in his foot. He was also removed from Friday's game in the fifth inning and served as a pinch-hitter on Saturday, but he was taken out for a pinch-runner after being intentionally walked. Trout was first held out of the lineup with the injury against the White Sox on Aug. 18 and also missed a game against the Rangers on Aug. 28.
“It's been bothering me for the past month,” Trout said. “I've just been playing through it. It had gotten to a point in Chicago in about the fourth inning where I couldn't play. We got this done today, and hopefully, it makes it feel better. I was just happy I found out what it was. We got kind of an idea of how to treat it, and we'll go from there."
Trout, who entered Monday tied for the Major League lead with 45 homers, said he doesn’t expect to be out for more than a few days, as there’s a chance he could play in the series finale on Wednesday. He said he’ll see how his foot feels in the coming days after the procedure, as he explained it’s been a painful injury to try to play through.
"It's like a nerve thing, so it's like a shooting pain in my foot, toe area,” Trout said. “I've played through some soreness, but when it gets flared up, it doesn't go away. It calms down at night, but once you do baseball activity, it flares up again. It's just tough. I obviously want to be out there. This procedure today, they say it helps it, so we'll see how it goes."
Trout could need to undergo an offseason procedure to remove the nerve from his foot so that it doesn’t flare up again in future seasons. Former Angels outfielder Tim Salmon said Monday he underwent cryoablation procedures on both of his feet because of neuromas while playing, and both times, it also necessitated offseason surgery to remove the neuromas.
"We'll see," Trout said. "It doesn't go away unless you get it taken out. We'll see where it goes."
With Trout out, Brian Goodwin started in center field on Monday and is expected to see time there until Trout returns. The Angels were assured by doctors that Trout can’t cause any long-term structural damage by returning this season.
“The doctors made it clear he wouldn’t make it any worse, it’s just what can you deal with and play,” Ausmus said. “It just got to the point where it was affecting him more, and affecting him more rapidly in a game.”
La Stella taking batting practice
Infielder Tommy La Stella, out since July 3 with a right tibia fracture, has been taking batting practice on the field without any issues, but he is still dealing with some pain in his right leg while participating in baseball activities. The Angels were hopeful that La Stella would return this homestand, but there’s a chance it could be pushed back.
“I’m happy overall with the progress,” La Stella said. “Hopefully, we’re getting closer. I’m not trying to duck it, but that’s really all I can say. I don’t know until I get closer. I don’t want to throw a timeline out there and not make it.”
La Stella, an All-Star for the first time this year, is still expected back at some point this season, but the Angels won’t rush him if he’s not ready.
"He's still feeling discomfort in his leg with certain movements,” Ausmus said. "I don’t know if there’s any reason to rush him back if he’s still feeling it. If he gets to the point where he’s past that barrier and doesn’t feel pain anymore, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t play."
Bedrosian begins throwing program
Reliever Cam Bedrosian (right forearm strain) has been throwing off flat ground and could return by the end of the homestand. Ausmus said Bedrosian will need to throw two bullpen sessions before being reinstated from the injured list.