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#pounditFriday, May 20, 2022

Joe Maddon hints at key issue in Mike Trout’s injury recovery

Mike Trout

Mike Trout still has not played since May 17 due to a right calf strain. Even more alarming, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder still has no timetable for a return on what was originally supposed to be a six-to-eight week injury.

On Sunday, Angels manager Joe Maddon hinted that there is a mental component to Trout’s injury recovery that is still a work in progress.

“I don’t know to what extent he’s doing baseball activity,” Maddon said, via Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m sure he’s sneaking into the cage, doing things like that. For the most part, he is feeling better. And he’ll continue to work more on the kind of stuff that you’re not going to see, to continue to strengthen that [calf] and test it in their way, whatever the method is our staff wants him to test it.

“It’s still up to you, the athlete, to push it to the point where you feel comfortable. You have to get to that point where you do something without thinking about it. And that sometimes takes a while. You don’t want to go back after all this good rehab. You don’t want to go backward, especially right now. And that’s always in your mind.”

It seems important that Maddon brings up the mental side of a recovery like this. It could easily be read as a sign that Trout is still not feeling comfortable pushing himself far enough to get back on the field, and that the risk of re-injury may be in the back of his mind.

Maddon had previously said Trout was less than two weeks from a return, but that was nearly a month ago now. Something is clearly holding him back, particularly now that the team is back to not disclosing a return timetable.

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