Sunday update: The MRI on Albert Pujols' troublesome left foot revealed a partial tear of the plantar fascia. According to Yahoo!'s Tim Brown, Pujols is likely done for the season and surgery is still a possibility since it wasn't a complete tear.
Source: Pujols has been told he's likely done for the season. Surgery possible, but undetermined.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 28, 2013
The news goes from bad to worse for Pujols, who has seen his numbers dip to career lows in batting average (.258) and OPS (.767) this season. I'm sure the foot injury contributed, but the overall concern of Pujols slowing down as the wear and tear adds up certainly won't be relieved by that excuse. Perhaps a healthy Pujols can still dominate at this level, but when — if ever — will he be completely healthy again?
Original post: It’s no secret that Albert Pujols has been bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot for most of his career, but the condition has been particularly troublesome for the 33-year-old slugger throughout the 2013 season. That’s what makes the news on Saturday all the more concerning for the Angels, because it sounds as though Pujols’ tolerance for the constant discomfort has reached its threshold after he aggravated the injury during Friday night's loss to the Oakland A's.
Here's more from the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna:
Albert Pujols aggravated the left foot injury that has hampered him all season on his ninth-inning, two-run single Friday night and returned to Southern California on Saturday to be evaluated by a doctor, a setback that could send the Angels slugger to the disabled list.
“It’s more sore than anything he’s dealt with all season,” Manager Mike Scioscia said before Saturday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. “We’ll get some direction from the doctor and see where he is.”
That examination will tell the Angels whether or not Pujols tore the plantar fascia ligament on Friday. If that's the case, Pujols would likely escape surgery as the procedure itself would have cut the tendon to help relief the pressure and irritation in his foot, but the recovery time would keep him out for the remainder of the season. If the tendon isn't torn, then Pujols timetable could be on the shorter side.
#Angels DH Albert Pujols is undergoing MRI test on left foot. If tendon isn't torn, he would likely receive cortisone injection.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) July 27, 2013
Even with the best case scenario, a stint on the disabled list seems pretty likely. That means Mark Trumbo would take over as the Angels regular first baseman and the team will be forced to mix and match at designated hitter going forward.
As for what this means in the grand scheme of things, the results of the MRI will reveal a lot about Pujols short term prognosis. But regardless of what it ultimately reveals, his long term prognosis will remain a very large concern for general manager Jerry Dipoto because, well, this:
pujols has $217,037,056.80 to go over 8 yrs, 51 games. #goodluck
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 27, 2013
MLB video from Yahoo! Sports:
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Phillies sign Cuban defector for nearly $60M
• Ryan Raburn's walkoff homer lifts Indians
• Edwin Encarnacion hits two homers in one inning
• Ryan Braun merchandise sales on the rise since suspension