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Mike Trout to return to action on Friday

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The Angels announced that Mike Trout‘s fourth rehabilitation game with Class-A Inland Empire was his last rehabilitation game. The reigning MVP will return to big league action when big league action resumes on Friday.

Trout has been out since May 28, when he tore a ligament in his left thumb while sliding headfirst into second base. He missed 39 games. The Angels managed to tread water while he was gone, going 19-20 during Trout’s absence. Not that it matters all that much with the Astros beating the heck out of the world and holding a 16.5 game lead. The Angels are only three back in the Wild Card, however, with the Twins, Royals Rays and Yankees ahead of them.

Trout was well on his way to a third MVP season when he went down, hitting batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 homers, 36 RBIs and ten stolen bases in 47 games. It’s hard to miss as much time as he has and still rate for postseason awards, but if Trout quickly resumes his pre-injury form and the Angels make a playoff push, he’ll be right back in the conversation.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus¬†last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.