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OC Register: Quick-healing Andrelton Simmons returns to Angels lineup earlier than expected

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OAKLAND — Andrelton Simmons, aside from exceptional defensive skill and quickly improving production at plate, is clearly a world-class healer, too.

Simmons surprisingly returned from the disabled list Saturday, just 11 days after he suffered a grade 2 left ankle sprain. Although the Angels never gave an official timetable for Simmons, a quick search of other professional athletes with similar injuries yields an expectation of two to four weeks out.

In 2016, when Simmons tore a ligament in his thumb and required surgery, he was expected to miss six to eight weeks. He came back in just over five weeks.

Simmons hurt his ankle slipping on the dugout steps just before the Angels’ game June 5. It was more than a week before he was even able to run, but in the last few days he made significant progress.

“The last four days, it’s just gone light speed,” Manager Mike Scioscia said before Saturday’s game. “He ran the bases the other day. He’s ready to go. He feels like he has all his mobility. He’s moving well, running well.”

Simmons had been working out at Angel Stadium during the team’s current 10-day trip. On Friday morning, the workout went so well Simmons hopped on a plane, arriving at the ballpark in Oakland just before game time.

His return was a welcome sight for a team that, just a day earlier, had placed four players on the disabled list, increasing the total to a club-record 15 temporarily.

“Simba was doing so many things, not just on the defensive end but the offensive end,” Scioscia said. “The way he was getting on base. The way he was hitting the ball, using the whole field. That’s an important component for us to get back.”

UPTON OUT

Just as the Angels got back Simmons, they lost Justin Upton, for the day at least. Upton was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup because of lower back stiffness.

There was no immediate word on what Upton felt, when it began or if it’s expected to keep him out of the lineup going forward.

ALSO

Kole Calhoun (oblique) had three hits in 13 at-bats in the first three games of his rehab assignment at Triple-A. “Calhoun is doing well,” Scioscia said. “We haven’t gotten a timetable, but he’s feeling better.”…

Kaleb Cowart (sprained ankle) has been running the bases, but he still needs to be able to run full speed before he can take the next step in his rehab…

Nolan Fontana was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Simmons…

Oliver Drake was designated for assignment to create space on the 25- and 40-man rosters for John Lamb, who was called up from Triple-A to start Saturday…

Parker Bridwell is on the Triple-A disabled list for the second time this year with elbow inflammation. The Angels will need another starter Tuesday, with Shohei Ohtani, Garrett Richards and Nick Tropeano all on the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Angels (Andrew Heaney, 3-5, 3.68) at A’s (Daniel Mengden, 6-6, 3.90), Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM).

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