Clippers guard Chris Paul visited Angel Stadium on Monday to celebrate his son's birthday. He had planned to meet with Mike Trout. It happened to be the same day that Trout learned he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.
Paul tore that ligament in January. His surgery was performed by the same doctor who will perform Trout's on Wednesday: Steven Shin. To repair similar injuries, Shin has recently used an innovative treatment using a so-called internal brace that accelerates recoveries and allows athletes to resume training within one week of surgery.
When Paul spoke to Trout and fellow Angel Tyler Skaggs on Monday, he advised Trout of his experience and showed him the video of his surgery. Shortly afterward, Trout elected to have the surgery. An estimated recovery timeline of six to eight weeks was announced; recent events show he could beat that estimation.
Trout also received advice from Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who suffered a similar injury last May. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he understood Simmons' full-thickness tear to be more significant than Trout's.
"But you'll never know until they go in and do the surgery," Scioscia said. "Andrelton came back in five weeks, and if that happened to Mike obviously we'd be very pleased."
Simmons resumed playing five weeks and three days after his surgery by Shin. Paul required five weeks and four days.
"I gave him some of my input, some of my experiences of how it went, how it felt when I came back," Simmons said. "What I basically told him is, for me, it was sore throughout the year, but less and less with time. But hitting wasn't that big of an issue. It was diving that was scary. That, for me, was one of the things that made me take longer."
Simmons said he did not anticipate Trout sharing that concern, given his position.
Trout was again unavailable to speak to reporters Tuesday. Before the 7 p.m. game, a club spokesperson said he was not at the stadium.
In making a run-saving catch while replacing Trout in center field Monday, Cameron Maybin may have hurt his right side. He reported feeling discomfort in the area when he arrived at Angel Stadium on Tuesday and was scheduled to be evaluated by team doctors.
"I don't think any tests are planned right now," Scioscia said. "Hopefully, it's just a day-to-day thing."
Third baseman Yunel Escobar, on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, worked out again Tuesday. Next, he'll play for Class-A Inland Empire on Wednesday and could be activated as soon as Thursday. ...The Angels optioned infielder Nolan Fontana to triple A to make room for right-hander Parker Bridwell, who started Tuesday against Atlanta. ...Reliever Huston Street said he will make a four-out appearance for Inland Empire Thursday or Friday. Sidelined since spring training because of a lat strain, he should be activated next week.