Shohei Ohtani injury update: Two-way player could return to Angels by end of month

first_imgIt has been almost exactly one year since Shohei Ohtani hit a home run in three consecutive straight games for the Angels. On Thursday, the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year delivered good news on just how soon that power could be debuting this season.Speaking to the media for the first time in two weeks, Ohtani said that he could be ready to return to the Angels’ lineup by the end of the month but will let the team’s training staff decide when he is officially allowed. “Personally, I feel I could be back this month, but it’s up to the team,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara (per “As a player, I think it’s natural to want to get back as early as possible. That’s how I’m feeling right now, but it’s ultimately up to the team. I know they are trying to be really careful.”MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNOhtani underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1 with an original timetable for his return in May as a designated hitter. He will not pitch until the 2020 season after pitching 51 2/3 innings last year with 63 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA. Next on the rehab plan is to begin live batting practice, something Ohtani only needed a week of last season before making his initial return from his elbow injury in June. This time around, he may need a minor league rehab assignment. Ohtani on Thursday took 50 swings, including 25 on the field, and began throwing from up to 60 feet.Last season, Ohtani batted .285/.361/.564 with 21 doubles and 22 home runs in 326 plate appearances. His bat would be a welcome addition after the news that left fielder Justin Upton could miss up to three months.”I’ve been training hard all offseason trying to get back,” Ohtani said. “Right now, my swing feels great. My power feels actually even a little bit better than last year. So I think, in that sense, everything is going really well.”last_img