LA Angels Justin Upton plays field for 1st time drives in two in rehab.
By David Rice
For LA Angels outfielder Justin Upton it has been a long time coming. Upton has been out 10 weeks with a turf toe injury and is finally back in action in Inland Empire.
When LA Angels outfielder Justin Upton got hurt in the third-to-last Spring Training game running into the wall chasing down a fly ball vs. the LA Dodgers at the Big “A”. The diagnosis was turf toe, which due to the severity of the injury was expected to keep Upton out 10 to 12 weeks. If all goes well we could see Justin Upton back after 11 weeks as his looks to be on track to rejoin the team on their next road trip which will be the longest o the season 3 cities and 11 days.
On Saturday night Upton played the field for first time since that fateful March evening (March 24th) and had no issues, making two plays in the field and going 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk and two RBIs.
After the game Upton was in good spirits and happy with his progress. “It felt good. First time in the outfield, moved around on a few balls. I haven’t had any issues at all,” Upton said.
As for a timetable for his return there isn’t an official one according to Upton. “No, will play it by ear. I still got to build up. Played five innings tonight. Next step will probably be seven innings and then we will go from there,” Upton said. “I felt good (at the plate), saw a lot of pitches. That’s all I can ask for is to see some pitches and get some swings off.”
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Upton says he is not sure if he will be transferring to Triple-A Salt Lake City, but most likely he will be in the Inland Empire through Tuesday as both the Sixers and Angels will be at home until then. Inland Empire will then travel to Lancaster to begin a road trip on Wednesday evening.
Upton is anxious to get back to the Angels, but he also knows he has to make sure everything is right.
Thankfully for the Angels Brian Goodwin and Cesar Puello have been holding down the fort pretty well for the Angels.
“It’s always tough (being on the IL). You’re used to being on the field with these guys. They’re out there grinding and all you can do is watch,” Upton said. “Being back with the guys (what he has missed). I going to go out on the field and compete with them soon enough.”
Herei is a video of Justin Upton’s final at-bat, a two-run single to left.
Upton added. “It great to see those guys doing well. Goody started off hot and has done well and Puello has been hitting well since he has been called up a week ago.”
With Upton close to returning the Angels line-up under first-year manager Brad Ausmus will get a major boost. For Upton he will be united Ausmus, who Upton played for in 2016 and 2017 in Detroit.
“I like Brad a lot, he has done a good so far. He handles the clubhouse very well. I look forward to playing for him again,” Upton concluded.
Well Angel fans you will see Justin Upton soon enough and it will be a good day in Anaheim when he comes back.