Frustrated Trout still aims to return this campaign

CLEVELAND – Mike trout says he’s still aiming to return to the Los Angeles Angels lineup this season, despite a long and frustrating recovery from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17.

The three-time AL MVP said Saturday before a game in Cleveland that he has not thought about ending the year.

“I’m just trying to get back,” Trout said. “Obviously we’re running out of time here, but my main goal is to get back on the field no matter what.”

The center fielder said he thought he would be back by now, after injuring his right calf while running the bases on May 17.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve been through in my career,” Trout said. “I’ve been through some injuries, but this is tough. I never realized how much I use my calf.

“I feel better. I’ve been doing a lot lately, it seems like every other day, every other day, doing a lot of baseball activities. The most important thing is to recover. I work a lot during the day and try to recover faster the next day because at next day I’m pretty sore. “

Trout, 30, said he couldn’t give a date when a rehab assignment would begin, but he has been running every other day.

Trout participated in field activities Tuesday in Detroit and exercised again on the field in Cleveland before Friday’s game.

“If I do a whole baseball job one day and then it hurts a lot the next day, it’s hard,” Trout said. “I’m trying to get to a point where I do a lot of baseball activities, the next day I can go in and play again and do the same thing. Every day is better.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon said he talks to his superstar on a daily basis.

“I know his wish is to come back here and play with us this year,” Maddon said. “He desperately wants to go back. Look at him on the bench, you see it in his eyes, he wants to be here playing. Whatever it takes to get back on the field, he’s going to try to do that.”

The nine-time All-Star is hitting .333 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 36 games.

The Angels are 62-62 and ranked fourth in the AL West, 11 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. Los Angeles is 8½ games away in the wild-card race.