Pujols officially shut down for season …

It’s official: Albert Pujols is done for the year.

It isn’t really surprising; that’s what was expected when an MRI revealed Pujols had partially torn the plantar fascia on his left foot foot. This, in essence, brings about clarity. In his first appearance in front of the media since suffering the injury, Pujols — to the surprise of nobody who’s been around him — was vehement in saying he was not giving up on a return this season, while stressing that he would nonetheless be cautious.

Now, he doesn’t even have to worry about that. He can rehab the rest of this season, then have a full offseason.

“By the time I was going to come back, it would have been two weeks left in the season,” Pujols said. “That’s what the doctor and everybody else agreed on, so we looked at the schedule to see if it was worth it to come back at that point in the season and decided to shut it down.

“It was not an easy decision, as competitive of a player as I am, but I also understand wanting to look past this season.”

Pujols, who took the boot off recently, said he’s feeling “pretty good.” He’s working out, doing some cardio — he just did 45 minutes of it before meeting with the media on Monday afternoon — and said he can be at 90 percent in two weeks. But the Angels are 15 1/2 games out of first place entering Monday’s series opener against the Indians.

But the organization decided it would be best if he just shuts it down.

“The risk and reward of everything has to be evaluated, and I think there’s probably more risk than there would be reward in Albert trying to do what he needed to do to get ready to play this year,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

“I’m still going to do my activity to get myself ready for next year,” Pujols said. “At least now I have in my mind that I’m definitily not going to come back this year so I can pace myself knowing I don’t have to come back right away.”

Asked if he’ll play with a chip on his shoulder next year, Pujols said: “I don’t have to prove anybody anything. I think in my career I have proved to everybody what I can do. If you think 492 and almost 1,500 RBI haven’t proven anything to anybody then you must be crazy. I don’t think I need to prove anybody anything. I just need to prove myself to hopefully get healthy and let my body and my work talk for itself.”

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