Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels' star centerfielder and three-time league MVP who's considered by many to be among the best players in baseball, has developed a rare back condition that could limit him for the rest of his career. The condition is called costovertebral dysfunction at T5, CNN reports. "We just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared, and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls, jumping into the wall—things like that," Mike Frostad, the team's trainer, said Wednesday. "There's so many things that can aggravate it."
After the Angels game Wednesday night, Trout played down the seriousness of the condition in comments to reporters. "I appreciate all the prayer requests, but my career isn't over," he said, per the Orange County Register. Trout is on the injured list now but said he expects to return this season. He left a game on July 12 with back spasms; the initial diagnosis was rib cage inflammation. Trout took himself off the American League's All-Star team last week, when he had a cortisone shot. He's not doing any baseball activities now, per Yahoo Sports, and isn't sure how soon he'll be able to swing a bat.
Trout said the trainer might have overstated the problem and meant mostly to emphasize that the player will have to "stay on top of" of the condition, in which the vertebrae or other parts of the spine are out of alignment. He cited recent progress. "Every day it's improving," the 10-time All-Star said, per People. Though he wasn't playing, Trout went to the All-Star Game last week at Dodger Stadium anyway to see fans. "Tickets are expensive," he said, "so to be able to be here and interact with the fans as much as I can, it means a lot to them and it means a lot to me." (Read more MLB stories.)