Albert Pujols says the plantar fasciitis in his left foot can flare up at… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
TEMPE, Ariz. — Albert Pujols is wearing custom orthotics for the first time in his career, and he has to spend a little extra time in the training room, but those are the only concessions the Angels first baseman has made for the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
“I’ve had it for the last seven years; is that a problem?” Pujols said of the condition, which causes inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot and can be very painful when it flares up. “It’s one of those things that comes and goes.”
Pujols has been eased into action this spring as he recovers from last October’s surgery on his right knee — he played the field for the first time Tuesday — but Manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols’ knee hasn’t been as big a concern lately as the foot.
“I think the whole reason it flared up this spring is because of my knee,” Pujols said. “I tried to protect the knee and put more pressure on the left side. But it’s nothing that will keep me from being in the lineup. I’ve played whole seasons with it.”
Indeed, Pujols played parts of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but he never went on the disabled list because of the condition, and he hit .330 while averaging 45 home runs and 125 runs batted in during those seasons.
“It gets sore,” Pujols said, “but nothing really dramatic to where I say, ‘Man, I can’t play.’ ”
Albert Pujols plays despite sore foot
Looking forward to nine more years of Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols battles foot problem but vows to be ready for opening day