Angels star Mike Trout appeared to hurt himself on a swing in Monday's game against the Padres and left early with an injury. Jul 3, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is checked by a trainer after an injury sustained during an at-bat in the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Monday’s game between the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres featured pretty much the last thing that any baseball fan wants to see — Mike Trout leaving the game early with an injury.

Trout led off the top of the eighth inning for the Angels with the Padres leading 9-3. He fouled off an 0-1 pitch from San Diego’s Nick Martinez. And while nothing about the play seemed out of the ordinary, something wasn’t right for Trout.

He stepped out of the box after the swing, quickly shaking his left hand, then grabbing at his lower back with it. As Trout walked around the box, home plate umpire Vic Carapazza cleaned off home plate, buying a few extra seconds. It looked as though Trout would continue his at-bat but he then walked toward the Los Angeles dugout where he was met by the trainers. Shortly thereafter, he headed into the clubhouse with an apparent injury to his hand.

Understandably, baseball fans were concerned about the injury. There was also speculation that it might have been a hamate injury.

Certainly, this is concerning. If it is a hamate injury, the typical recovery time would have Trout back sometime in early September, give or take a few weeks.

Not all that unlike non-contact injuries in football, these types of injuries in baseball are often even worse — or at least more worrisome — than plays where the injury is obvious.

If there’s anything to be semi-optimistic about, it’s the possibility that maybe Trout just felt some minor discomfort. And with the score 9-3 in the eighth inning, he and the Angels opted to play it safe. That said, players will sometimes feel some pain in their wrists after an awkward swing. That pain usually subsides quickly. That did not seem to happen here. If anything, it seemed to be getting worse.

We just have to hope that this injury ends up looking a lot worse than it actually is.

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