Former MVP Mike Trout needs surgery on torn meniscus. The Angels hope he can return this season

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout will have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, sidelining the three-time AL MVP indefinitely.

The Angels believe Trout will be able to return this season, general manager Perry Minasian said while announcing the injury Tuesday.

Trout is batting .220 with a major league-leading 10 homers, 14 RBIs and six stolen bases this year, but he will be sidelined by a major injury for the fourth consecutive season. The Angels put Trout on the 10-day injured list and signed veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar to a one-year, $740,000 contract.

Trout had an MRI after playing in the Angels' 6-5 victory over Philadelphia on Monday. The outfielder fought back tears while describing the pain that gradually crept up on him after the game.

“It's crazy, because I look back and I don't even know when I did it,” Trout said. “I was kind of telling myself, ‘Maybe I just banged it on something and I didn’t realize it.’ And then after the game, getting treatment on it, it was really sore. The plan was just to see how I felt in the morning. If I woke up and it was sore, just get it looked at. That was the plan. Last night was tough for me to sleep. It was just aching all night.”

Trout's latest injury is another major blow to the Angels, who are off to an 11-18 start in their first season since Shohei Ohtani's free-agent departure.

Los Angeles also lost Anthony Rendon indefinitely to a torn hamstring earlier this month. The $245 million third baseman also has been sidelined for major portions of the past four consecutive seasons by an array of injuries.

Trout and Rendon are by far the Angels' two highest-paid players, each making more than $37 million this season.

Mickey Moniak took Trout's normal starting job in center field when the Angels hosted the Phillies again Tuesday night.

The 32-year-old Trout won his three MVP awards during a dominant decade of play in the 2010s, but the formerly durable outfielder has been bedeviled by injuries since 2021.

He missed all but 36 games of the 2021 season with a strained calf, and he missed several weeks of the 2022 season with a back injury. Trout then broke a bone in his hand last season, missing all but one game after July 3.

Trout said he has never had health problems with his knees.

“I’ve talked to a couple of guys in there that’s had” meniscus repair,” Trout said while standing outside the Angels’ clubhouse. “It’s a pretty simple procedure. I’ll have it right away and get back as fast as I can, (but) this is tough.”

The Angels signed Pillar on Tuesday, one day after designating veteran Aaron Hicks for assignment. Hicks, the longtime Yankees outfielder, batted .140 with one homer in 18 games for the Halos.

Pillar batted .160 in 17 games this season for the White Sox, who designated him for assignment last Friday. The Angels are the ninth major league team in the last six seasons for the 35-year-old Pillar, a Southern California native.

The Angels also selected the contract of left-handed reliever Amir Garrett and sent right-hander Davis Daniel back to Triple-A Salt Lake.

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