Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout focuses on Friday’s return against Detroit Tigers

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout plans to return to the Los Angeles Angels lineup on Friday in Detroit.

Trout has not played since July 12 and missed the Angels’ last 30 games with an upper back and ribcage injury. He faced live pitching on Monday and worked out on Wednesday, making sure he will be able to play against the Tigers when the Angels open a 10-game trip.

“Ultimately, I want to be with the guys,” Trout said Wednesday before the Angels hosted the Seattle Mariners. “I miss it. I think with downtime, you come to the field, go home. It’s good to spend time with your son and your wife. That was good. But in the end you want to be on the field. I I’m excited. If all goes well, hopefully I’ll be there Friday.”

Trout earned an All-Star roster this summer while hitting .270 with 24 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 79 games, but missed significant playing time – and the All-Star Game – due to injuries for the second consecutive season. Last season, he played just 36 games before being sidelined for a year in mid-May due to a calf strain.

“We really don’t have that much time left in the season,” Trout said. “I spoke to the front office and I spoke to the training staff to get some at bats here to see how I was feeling, and I felt really good.”

Last season’s disappointment seems to motivate Trout to return with just seven weeks left in another lost season to the Angels (51-66), who haven’t made the play-offs since 2014. Los Angeles has plummeted again from the postseason picture this summer despite taking first place in the AL West on May 11.

After Angels athletic trainer Mike Frostad said last month that Trout’s current injury might be something he should keep an eye on for the rest of his career, Trout rushed to assure fans that his career isn’t over yet.

A return to the lineup underscores Trout’s commitment, who is in the fourth season of a $426 million 12-year contract. He also said he plans to develop a training plan to strengthen his back during another long outdoor season for the Angels.

While his injury could benefit from a few light days of action, Trout says he will continue to play in midfield to enable AL MVP Shohei Ohtani to remain the Angels’ designated batter.

“I think we have a pretty good DH,” Trout said with a grin.

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