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OC Register: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani gets positive news from latest check-up

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Shohei Ohtani had a follow-up appointment on Monday and was cleared to begin facing live pitching in about a week, bringing his return to the lineup a step closer.

“All is good,” Manager Brad Ausmus said Monday afternoon. “Everything came back good. The doctor was pleased and he’s going to continue his progression.”

The Angels have not wavered from the expectation that Ohtani will be back in May.

Ohtani is currently taking batting practice against a pitching machine, which provides game-like velocity. If he has no setbacks after another week of that, he’ll be ready to face pitchers.

“As to where that happens, that’s still to be determined,” Ausmus said.

The Angels could bring minor league pitchers to Anaheim to pitch to Ohtani, which they did last summer when he was cleared to hit after his initial injury. They also could send him to extended spring training in Arizona to face pitchers there, either in simulated games or in games against other teams.

In either of those scenarios, the Angels can have him bat as often as they’d like.

Finally, the Angels could send Ohtani to one of their minor league affiliates to play in actual games. Although that is less efficient in terms of the volume of at-bats he could get, Ausmus said “there is something to be said for competing in a baseball game environment.”

Ohtani also continues to throw three times a week, although he is not going to pitch this season.

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