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Angels

Angels’ Justin Upton not sure when he’ll return from sprained toe

Justin Upton
Angels outfielder Justin Upton tosses his bat after being walked during an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox in March. A sprained toe has prevented Upton from playing this season.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Angels outfielder Justin Upton has been out of a walking boot for about three weeks, but he is not much closer to resuming regular baseball activities.

Upton, who is on the 60-day injured list because of a left big toe sprain, hasn’t been slowed by any setbacks, but his recovery is taking longer than expected, he said Saturday at Angel Stadium.

“It’s a slower process than obviously I would like, but that’s the way it has to be,” said Upton, who sustained the injury when he ran into the left-field wall during a home Freeway Series exhibition.

The Angels said at the time Upton could be out up to three months. It seems that could well be the case. He has yet to bear all his weight while running; he has been limited to using an anti-gravity treadmill, which can be set to load and unload weight. He is also limited when it comes to the intensity of his swings in the cage.

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Once he clears those hurdles, Upton will have to get plenty of at-bats in game situations because he was limited by right knee tendinitis to only 10 plate appearances in major league spring training games.

“I still got a while, man,” Upton said. “There’s a lot of things I haven’t done. I haven’t run on the ground, I haven’t even ran in a straight line. Then I have to cut, then I have to take fly balls, I gotta take groundballs. I don’t have a date. As soon as I can get those things done and feel comfortable with it then I can hopefully go out and play some ball.”

Short hops

Reliever Keynan Middleton, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last May, arrived at Angel Stadium for a checkup. He hasn’t faced hitters yet during his rehab, but general manager Billy Eppler said in April that he should reach that phase this month. Middleton could rejoin the Angels bullpen in July. … Outfielder Michael Hermosillo is finally making strides in his recovery from offseason hernia surgery. He had at-bats in a game for the first time since before he underwent a procedure to relieve a core muscle injury that cut short his stint in the Dominican Winter League. “It’ll be a little bit longer,” Ausmus said of Hermosillo’s recovery.

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maria.torres@latimes.com

@maria_torres3


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