Albert Pujols is getting closer to full participation in spring training drills, but he is not yet running. The Los Angeles Angels superstar had surgery over the offseason on his knee and is recovering, but he has been limited in his first few days of spring training. Sean Burnett, on the other hand had to leave camp. There was a clear injury concern as Burnett underwent tests and left Angels camp yesterday.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Pujols has been able to participate in other aspects of early spring drills.
Albert Pujols took part in bunt defense for the first time today. Still not running sprints. #Angels
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 18, 2013
Pujols had arthroscopic knee surgery last October. The procedure was classified as minor, but the first baseman's knee is still not back to 100 percent. Pujols won't be a part of the games that start this weekend. He will start playing spring games in March.
Pujols is entering the second year of his huge 10-year contract with the Angels. Last season, he got off to a slow start but finished with a respectable line. Pujols hit .285/.343/.516 with 30 home runs. In his career, Pujols is a .325/.414/.608 hitter.
The injury is concerning because of the problems Pujols has had the last two seasons. He has battled injuries in both of those seasons, and he has seemed to be a reduced version of his former self.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times says Burnett had to undergo an MRI after experiencing lower back stiffness. It's not clear on when he will return to camp, but the problem is concerning.
Burnett is entering his first year with the Angels after spending the last four seasons with the Washington Nationals. The 30-year old pitcher has a 3.58 career ERA.