First baseman Albert Pujols may believe that he will be able to suit up for the Los Angeles Angels on Opening Day, but that will all depend on if his relatively new foot injury will allow him.
Pujols is confident that he will be ready to take the field on April 1 against the Cincinnati Reds for the season opener. This is a bold statement considering he has actually appeared in the field only once this spring, and that came against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. It is also bold considering the slugger has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Pujols and the Angels organization are already dealing with enough concern over the first baseman’s health. To throw this on top of the surgically-repaired knee is certainly not a good sign.
“The foot is giving him more trouble right now than the knee,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times after the team’s 6-1 loss to Milwaukee. “But the fact that his knee is okay gives us more comfort than anything else.”
A good way to avoid injuring the foot any further is to make Pujols the designated hitter for a majority of the games, at least in the early part of the season. I am sure Pujols will not enjoy this, considering the two-time Gold Glove Award winner thoroughly enjoys playing defense, but it will benefit him as well as the team.
“I’m too young to be a DH, but if I have to do it, I’ll do it,” Pujols said. “I just want to be in the lineup and help the team win.”
Fans should not be overly concerned about the injury. It is unfortunate that he will have to deal with it, but this is certainly not new territory for him. The 33-year old has suffered plantar fasciitis at least three other times in his career and it has never affected his game.
Plenty of stretching, ice and staying off the foot as much as possible are the only ways that it will heal properly. However, this injury will not go away anytime soon, especially for a professional baseball player that makes his living constantly putting pressure on his feet.
Pujols is batting .318 with two home runs and five RBI in 22 at-bats this spring.