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Angels

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons shows improvement but return from injury remains unclear

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, shown during an April 18 game, suffered a left ankle sprain May 20.
(John McCoy / Getty Images)

When asked about his relationship with Angels trainers, Andrelton Simmons smiled.

“They probably hate me,” he said. Then he laughed.

Simmons sustained a left ankle sprain May 20. Throughout his recovery he has abided by the trainers’ advice. Still, Simmons is hungry to play. He keeps pushing to do more.

“I don’t trust him,” manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. “At all. He told me today he could play. Simba is a voracious worker and has a very high pain tolerance. You can make the argument that him at 80% is better than most at 100%. But we still don’t want it to affect his play.”

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Simmons, who did not need surgery, is encouraged by his progress. The swelling in his ankle has improved and he can run on a treadmill, though not at 100%. His only complaint was that he had to use crutches longer than expected.

Simmons took groundballs hit directly to him Thursday. Trainers have not yet permitted him to try lateral movement.

“It’s a good step,” Ausmus said of the groundballs. “But he still has quite a bit of time.”

When asked Thursday if Simmons was ahead of schedule, Ausmus said, “It’s hard for me to say because they gave me such a wide range on how long it would take to heal.”

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Asked when he will return, Simmons said, “I have no idea,” adding, “I try not to think about the timetable that much. Just happy it’s getting better.”

Simmons said his ankle gives him no trouble while hitting; his swing is unaffected by the injury.

There is lingering pain is in his ankle because the bone was bruised, Simmons said. But despite his yearning to do more, Simmons said he is encouraged by the strides he has made. He feels stronger and is excited about the exercise he is able to do on the field.

“Trying to do more stuff, try to keep progressing,” Simmons said. “Been getting there. Just for myself, I’d want to be there already, but it is what it is.”

Upton update

Outfielder Justin Upton, who has been out all season because of a sprained left big toe, began his rehab stint with Class-A Inland Empire on Friday. He went 1 for 2 with a strikeout and a walk in three-at-bats.

“I haven’t been on the bases consistently that often recently, so there’s going to be a learning curve for the legs,” Upton said. “Everything else feels pretty good.”

Upton is scheduled to play Saturday.

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Short hops

Pitcher Dillon Peters joined the Angels in the clubhouse Friday, and Ausmus said Peters would pitch Saturday against the Mariners. Ausmus did not say whether Peters would start, and said the Angels could have a different pitcher open the game… Catcher Kevan Smith was reinstated from the injured list, and Dustin Garneau was designated for assignment.

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blake.richardson@latimes.com

@rblakerich_


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