Mike Trout hampered by spine condition that could linger for the rest of his career

By , Audacy Sports

Angels outfielder Mike Trout is dealing with a rare back condition that could be a problem for the balance of his illustrious career, according to the team.

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The soon-to-be 31-year-old slugger has been out of action since July 12 due to what was initially thought to be garden-variety back spasms, and his absence was expected to be brief.

Instead, further testing revealed Trout is dealing with a spinal condition called costovertebral dysfunction at T5, according to multiple reports.

On Wednesday, Angels head athletic trainer Mike Frostad told reporters that the spine specialist treating Trout had scarcely seen the condition at all, let alone in a world-class athlete.

Trout received a cortisone injection late last week that was expected to take two weeks to fully kick in, meaning he would be precluded from baseball activities for at least another week, which rule him out through at least early August. That could end up costing him at least a month, an alarming development given he was limited to just 36 games in 2021.

There's no firm timetable for Trout's return, but Frostad said the Angels aren't yet at the point where they're concerned about the 10-time All-Star missing the balance of the season. However, he conceded that it could be a lingering issue.

“Long-term we do have to look at this as something that — he has to manage it, not just through the rest of this season, but also through the rest of his career probably.”

Trout has been his usual dominant self when on the field so far in 2022, slashing a healthy .270/.368/.599 with 24 home runs in 79 games.

Incredibly, the New Jersey native is a probable Hall of Famer based on what he's done to date, boasting nearly 80 fWAR, 334 homers, 204 steals and a robust .303/.416/.584 slash line in 5,986 career plate appearances. Along with his 10 All-Star nods, Trout has been named AL MVP three times, and was by most accounts the game's best player during the last decade.

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