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Albert Pujols has been told he is likely to miss the remainder of the season because of a painful condition in his left foot, according to sources.
The news comes as a potentially devastating development for the underachieving Los Angeles Angels. Pujols is on the disabled list because of a partially torn ligament in the foot, which might ultimately relieve the discomfort of the chronic condition – plantar fasciitis – but would require as much as two months recovery time, some of that in a walking boot. In the unlikely event surgery is required, recovery time is about six months.
After playing through the effects of plantar fasciitis for much of the season, Pujols told the Angels on Friday night he felt something snap under his left foot, causing greater pain. He returned to Los Angeles from Oakland for an examination, including an MRI, and expects further consultation with doctors later Sunday.
In his second season with the Angels, Pujols is batting a career-low .258 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI over 99 games. He had knee surgery in the offseason and was hobbled by the plantar fasciitis, a condition he has had to manage for much of the past decade. As a result, Pujols played 65 games as the Angels’ designated-hitter, against 34 at first base.
After this season, Pujols will have eight years and $212 million remaining on his contract with the Angels. In his first 253 games in Los Angeles, he’s batted .275 with 47 home runs and 169 RBI.
A season of high expectations for Arte Moreno’s club has instead been disappointing, in part because of Pujols’ injuries. Josh Hamilton, signed this winter for $125 million over five years, is batting .223. The starting pitching has been inadequate, the defense among the worst in baseball.
Going into Sunday’s series finale against the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics, the Angels were 12 games out of first and 8 ½ games out of a wild-card spot.
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