Angels’ Albert Pujols has foot surgery

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is not expected to be ready for opening day in 2016 after undergoing foot surgery.

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is not expected to be ready for opening day in 2016 after undergoing foot surgery.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Albert Pujols underwent a foot operation last week, raising the possibility he could be on the disabled list when the Angels open next season.

Speaking Monday at baseball’s general managers meetings, General Manager Billy Eppler said Pujols is expected to resume “full baseball activities” — that is, play in games without restrictions — in 4 1/2 months.

The Angels open their season two weeks after that, on April 4 against the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium.

Eppler wouldn’t make any promises about Pujols’ availability on opening day.

“I’m not going to put a stopwatch on it,” he said.

Eppler said the Angels’ off-season plans will not be affected based on whether Pujols is ready.


“The extent of it isn’t significant enough to create worry on our part,” he said.

Eppler said he is confident with C.J. Cron at first base if Pujols is unavailable at the start of the season.

“He’s shown the ability to hit major league pitching,” Eppler said.

Pujols had the plantar plate on his right foot repaired. Pain in that foot forced Pujols into a designated-hitter role over the final month of last season.

Pujols finished with 40 home runs and drove in 95 runs, but he batted a career-low .244. He hit only .224 over the last four weeks.

The Angels played their final game Oct. 4. Asked why Pujols waited until now to have surgery, Eppler said, “With weight-bearing injuries, you want to give that area time to settle down. As it does, then you retest it.”

Pujols was examined in North Carolina last month by Dr. Robert Anderson, who recommended he undergo surgery. Anderson performed the operation.

Eppler said Pujols was on crutches but would be fitted for a walking boot “shortly.” He is expected to rehabilitate in the Kansas City-area throughout the off-season.

Eppler sounded uncertain of how Pujols’ off-season hitting program would be affected, if at all.

“We have to take it as it comes,” Eppler said.

Pujols has been slowed by a number of injuries in his four seasons with the Angels.

He underwent an operation on his right knee at the end of the 2012 season, his first year with the team. He had a severe case of plantar fasciitis in 2013, which limited him to a career-low 99 games that season.

Pujols is entering the fifth year of a 10-year, $240-million contract.