Angels OF Mike Trout (knee) targeting return by late July

Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout is hopeful to return from knee surgery by late July in what has been another injury-shortened season for the three-time American League MVP.

Trout spoke with reporters on Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., and he said he was convinced he’d be on the field a month from now following recovery from a torn meniscus in his left knee.

“I feel really good ramping things up,” Trout said. “I’m happy where I’m at right now. It makes me feel relieved. I’m not putting an exact timetable on it. But once I can do all the tests and run, hit and throw, I’ll be out there.”

Trout, 32, said it’s taken longer than expected to heal from the May 3 surgery, as he has dealt with soreness during the rehabilitation process. It’s become more manageable as he plays catch and jogs on an anti-gravity treadmill for reduced impact.

“The problem was I wanted to strengthen it around it, but I was doing exercises to try to do that and it was making it really sore,” Trout said. “But now I’m able to progress on that and do exercises without any soreness. It’s been great. I’m jogging and I’ve done little stuff like play catch with no pain. I haven’t hit yet. The biggest thing for me is just the running part.”

Trout said swinging a bat won’t be a problem. He has yet to hit in cages and is uncertain about needing a rehab assignment.

“He’s feeling much better,” Angels manager Ron Washington said Saturday. “His legs look strong. He’s got a normal gait now. So it’s just a matter of when we’re going to get him out here and let him start taking a pounding.”

Trout led the majors with 10 homers at the time he suffered his knee injury on April 29 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, and he doesn’t know how it happened. He was batting just .220 with 14 RBIs and six steals in 29 games.

The injury was frustrating to Trout, who has been derailed by health issues in recent seasons. A calf injury limited him to 36 games in 2021, a back injury helped hold him to 119 games in 2022, and a broken hand last season allowed him to appear in only one game after July 3 and 82 contests for the season.

Trout is a career .299 hitter with 378 career home runs, 954 RBIs and 212 stolen bases in 1,518 games over 14 seasons, all with the Angels after he was a first-round draft pick (25th overall) in 2009.

The 11-time All-Star was voted AL Most Valuable Player in 2014, ’16 and ’19. He also has nine Silver Slugger awards to his credit, and he was the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year.

–Field Level Media