ARLINGTON, Texas — Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout said Monday he’s improving every day from a fractured left hamate bone that has kept him out of the lineup since July 3, but he said there is no set date for his return.
“I know that it’s just a pain tolerance thing,” Trout said before the Angels’ game against the Texas Rangers. “Once it gets to a point where it’s bearable, I’ll be out there.”
The three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star began taking swings against a hitting machine last Friday before the club’s three-game series in Houston. He said he hasn’t yet faced the machine at top velocity.
Angels manager Phil Nevin said the next step for Trout will be to face live pitching, which could happen in a few days.
“For the most part it’s Mike’s pain tolerance and where he thinks he’s at,” Nevin said. “If he can face a pitcher and let it go, which he’s getting real close, if he’s facing velocity off the machine, he’s doing everything in the cage.”
Trout has been working out in the outfield, saying the injury primarily affects him while batting.
“Defense right now, every day has been good,” he said. “There are certain movements I do in the outfield where, backhand, where I hit it funny, it acts up a little bit. But nothing’s holding me back on defense. It’s just the swinging part.”
Trout has played in 81 of the Angels’ 119 games, hitting .263 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs.
The Angels trail first-place Texas by 11 1/2 games in the Western Division and are 6 1/2 games out of the AL’s final wild card.