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Angels’ Albert Pujols doubtful for opening day after foot surgery

Albert Pujols reacts after flying out and stranding the tying run in the ninth inning against the Athletics on Sept. 30.

Albert Pujols reacts after flying out and stranding the tying run in the ninth inning against the Athletics on Sept. 30.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Angels could open the 2016 season without Albert Pujols after the slugger underwent foot surgery last week.

In making the announcement Monday, the team said Pujols “is expected to resume full baseball activities in 4-1/2 months.” That would take Pujols into mid-March and leave him two to three weeks to prepare for opening day, barring any setbacks.

Pujols, who turns 36 in January, is entering the fifth year of a 10-year, $240-million contract. In 2013, he was limited to a career-low 99 games because of a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot. The surgery last week repaired “the planter plate in his right foot,” the team said.

C.J. Cron, who replaced Pujols at first base in September, likely would replace him there in April, if needed. Pujols also could start the season at designated hitter.

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Pujols, troubled by pain in his right foot, was limited to designated hitter over the final month of the 2015 season. He batted a career-low .240, but hit 40 home runs, his highest total in five years. He also drove in 95 runs, becoming the first player in major league history to drive in at least 90 runs in 14 of his first 15 seasons.


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