Justin Upton not nearing return to Angels


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ANAHEIM — Angels left fielder Justin Upton hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his broken left toe, but he said Saturday that he’s still “a while” away from returning.
Upton, on the 60-day injured list with left turf toe he sustained when he ran into the left-field wall on March 24,

ANAHEIM — Angels left fielder Justin Upton hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his broken left toe, but he said Saturday that he’s still “a while” away from returning.

Upton, on the 60-day injured list with left turf toe he sustained when he ran into the left-field wall on March 24, had an initial prognosis of being out eight to 12 weeks, and that timeline hasn’t changed. But it’s been eight weeks since the injury, so he appears more likely to return closer to the 12-week range, which means he could be out roughly another month.

Upton, though, said he doesn’t have a date in mind for being reinstated from the injured list.

“I still got a while, man,” Upton said. “There’s a lot of things I haven’t done. I haven’t run on the ground, I haven’t even ran in a straight line. Then I have to cut, then I have to take fly balls, I gotta take ground balls. There’s a lot of boxes to cover. I don’t have a date. As soon as I can get those things done and feel comfortable with it, then I can hopefully go out and play some ball.”

As Upton noted, he’s yet to start running on flat ground, but he has been running on a gravity-altering treadmill, which allows him to put the pressure of only about 80 percent of his body weight while running.

“It was a little rough at first obviously because I’d been off of my feet for a while,” Upton said. “But I’m starting to get used to it. It’s all about checking boxes, and if I can continue to do 80 percent for an extended amount of time or for a few days, then I can move up. We’re not moving up in big intervals. It’s a slower process than obviously I would like, but that’s the way it has to be.”

Upton, who wore a walking boot for a month injuring the toe, has been able to do some baseball activities, such as throwing and swinging the bat, but he said he still hasn’t been able to ramp up the intensity.

“I haven’t been slowed by much, some soreness here and there,” Upton said. “It’s one of those things you just gotta let heal, so unless you’re continuously looking at an MRI, you don’t know if it’s healing. You just gotta give it time.”

Upton, a four-time All-Star, hit .257/.344/.463 with 30 homers, 18 doubles and 85 RBIs in 145 games last season. Brian Goodwin has filled in capably in his absence.

Ohtani throwing four days a week

Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery he underwent on Oct. 1, has increased his throwing program, as he’s now throwing four times a week instead of three times. Ohtani was previously throwing Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but he’s now throwing on Saturdays as well.

Ohtani, though, won’t pitch this season, as the reigning American League Rookie of the Year is rehabbing his elbow to pitch again in 2020. He’s still only throwing on flat ground and not at full intensity.

Hermosillo hitting in simulated games

Outfielder Michael Hermosillo, who is on the 10-day injured list after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason, has progressed to getting at-bats in simulated games in Arizona. Hermosillo has played in two games so far and will continue to get at-bats and play outfield before he’ll be ready to start a rehab assignment.

Hermosillo, ranked as the club’s No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is expected to join Triple-A Salt Lake when healthy. The 24-year-old hit .211/.274/.333 with a homer and four doubles in 31 games in his first taste of the Majors last year.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.



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