Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout was never comfortable during his 39 games recovering from a thumb injury.
The two-time American League MVP is happy to have returned to action with close to half the regular season left.
On Friday night, Trout was in the lineup for the Angels and was 1-for-5 with a single during the third inning. This was the first game the Angels played since the All-Star break that began last Monday.
Trout stole second sliding head first apparently with no worries about re-injuring his thumb in the same fashion he originally injured it May 28.
Trout told reporters following the game that he was extremely excited to be back and that it was good to arrive at the ballpark knowing that his name would be on the lineup card in the dugout.
Trout’s injury in May was the first significant one of his entire baseball life. He tore a ligament in the thumb on his left hand during a headfirst slide into second base in Miami.
He underwent surgery prior to starting his recovery, which ended with a short rehab period last week with the Angels Class A affiliate.
Before he injured his thumb, Trout was setting a pace to have another sensational season. At the time, he was leading baseball in on-base percentage with .461, hitting 16 home runs, 36 RBIs, .742 slugging percentage, 121 total bases and an incredibly high OPS of 1.203.
Trout was given huge ovations from the Los Angeles crowd during the introductions prior to the game and when he came to the plate during the first inning. His first plate appearance ended with a long fly ball to deep center.
Trout did struggle while in big at bats. He grounded out with a pair of runners on base during the seventh inning and struck out in the 10th inning on three straight pitches that ended the game giving Tampa Bay a 2-1 win.
While injured, Trout attended all home games of the Angels, but did not travel with the team. Trout was picked to play in the All-Star Game for the AL for the sixth straight season, but did not take part due to the Angels wanting him be sure his thumb was completely healed.
Prior to playing on Friday, Trout would not answer questions about being concerned with the roster of the Angels as the trade deadline approaches. The Angels are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot even with the absence of Trout for 39 games and having problems with its starting rotation.