Albert Pujols is back in the Angels lineup as the designated hitter for Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox after missing four games because of right calf inflammation, but don’t expect the slugger to be stealing bases or running from first to third on singles.
“He can put a little governor on and not be at risk running the bases,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s at a level where he’s comfortable swinging the bat and nursing his way around the bases. He wasn’t comfortable — and neither was our training staff — with that in Detroit” over the weekend.
Pujols was on a mini-tear, going 12 for 31 (.387) with four home runs and 10 runs batted in over eight games, when he injured his leg sliding awkwardly into second and then running from second to third in the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s game at Fenway Park.
A precautionary MRI test revealed no structural damage in his knee, and after doing agility drills and running the bases for the training staff Tuesday afternoon, Pujols said he was good to go for the game, though he probably won’t return to first base until later this week.