Tagged in: plans

Mike Trout dealing with ‘pretty rare’ back condition, but Los Angeles Angels star says it’s manageable, plans to return this season

Mike Trout stated he appreciated all the support he received Wednesday after the Los Angeles Angels’ head athletic trainer revealed the three-time American League MVP had a “rare” spinal condition that could affect him for the rest of his career.

Even if Trout thought the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

“I think he meant that I have to stay on top of the routine I do on a daily basis to keep it from coming back,” Trout said after watching his Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 to clinch their first series victory in nearly a month.

“I’m appreciative of all the prayer requests, but my career is not over.”

The 10-time All-Star left a game versus Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms, then went on the injured list a week later with what was called rib cage inflammation.

On Wednesday, Angels athletic trainer Mike Forstad revealed it to be a rare spinal condition.

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“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back,” Frostad said. “The doctor (Robert Watkins III), who is one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country — if not the world — doesn’t see a lot of these.

“And for it to happen in a baseball player — we just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared, and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls, jumping into the wall — things like that. There’s so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn’t seen a lot of it.”

Trout smiled when thinking about the absurdity of the overreactions he’d been seeing online after Frostad’s comments.

“I got back and my phone was blowing up: ‘My career is over,'” he said. “It’s just rare for a baseball player. I just have to stay on top of it.”

Trout received a cortisone injection last week that has already begun to produce results. He has a follow-up visit next week and “we’ll go from there,” he said, though he has every intention of being back this year.

“Of course,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

The Angels have had no discussions about shutting him down.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to make that decision,” Frostad said. “He’s going to have a follow-up here once we get back and we’ll just kind of see what the doctor thinks at that point.”

Trout, the second-highest-paid player in the game at $37.1 million, had been enjoying a nice bounce-back season after a calf injury limited him to just 36 matches last season.

He was hitting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs through 79 games, a rare bright spot in what has been a dismal season for the Angels. “He’s been a great teammate,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.

“He’s been [in] the dugout, helping out his teammate — he’s obviously a good sounding board for a lot of young players. For them to have him here and know that he’s supporting them is huge, I’m sure, for some younger guys.”

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Roger Federer plans return to tournament play at Swiss Indoors

Roger Federer intends to return to tournament tennis after what will have been more than a year away from the tour by playing at the Swiss Indoors in October.

The event in Basel revealed in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that the 20-time Grand Slam champion “has officially entered the tournament and will appear on the entry list with the protected ATP ranking” of No. 9.

His agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed Federer’s plan to The Associated Press.

Federer’s first match there is scheduled for Oct. 25, according to the website. The Swiss star has not played a competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on July 7.

Soon after that defeat, Federer had surgery to repair damage to his meniscus and cartilage in his right knee — the third time in a span of 1½ years that knee was operated on.

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Federer, 40, has won a men’s record eight championships at the All England Club.

He and Novak Djokovic are tied for the second-most overall major tennis titles acquired by a man; they trail Rafael Nadal, who has 21.

Federer said in an interview with a Swiss newspaper in November that he expected to miss Wimbledon this year — it starts on June 27 — and was not sure when, if ever, he might be able to play again at a high level, although he did “want to see one last time what I’m capable of as a professional tennis player.”

In February, Federer and Nadal announced they were both planning to participate in the Laver Cup in London on Sept. 23-25.

That would mark Federer’s return to action for the first time since last July — albeit not at a full-fledged tournament but at a team event founded by his management company.

Federer has won the Swiss Indoors trophy 10 times. The tournament will return this year after being called off in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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