Will Albert Pujols Be Ready For Opening Day?

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Updated: February 3, 2017

Ten-time All-Star Albert Pujols underwent surgery to release the plantar fascia on his right foot. The return time is roughly four months and the surgery was in December. Will Pujols be ready by Opening Day?

The three-time MVP Albert Pujols is a key player in the Los Angeles Angels lineup and him missing any time at all could hurt the Angels. In 2016 Pujols hit .268/.323/.457 with 31 homers and 119 RBI in 152 games. Pujols is heading into his age 37 season, but still continues to hit like the same 21-year-old that won Rookie of the Year in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pujols had surgery to address plantar fasciitis in the same foot last fall. He was still able to play basically a full season, but was mainly limited to DH. The Angels would love to have the two-time Gold Glove winner back at first base in 2017.

The Angels have options at first base with C.J. Cron and Luis Valbuena if Pujols is not ready by April. Both Cron and Valbuena are basically platoon options at this point. The Angels would be much better with Pujols at first, but the team has options if needed.

The Angels are not going to force Pujols to play if he is not ready. Pujols is owed $140 million through the 2021 season and the Angels want to resolve this foot problem while they can. Despite his age Pujols has continued to put up excellent numbers and is a much-needed bat in the Angels lineup.

Right now it is too early to tell if Pujols will be ready by April. The fact the Angels went out and got Valbuena could mean they expect to miss Pujols until May or even June. Obviously the Angels want Pujols on the field Opening Day, but they aren’t going to rush him. The team has prepared options at first base just in case Pujols is forced to miss time in 2017.

 

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