Salmon thinks Pujols’ plantar fasciitis days are over
Albert Pujols’ 2013 season officially came to an end on Monday, when the Angels announced their high-priced slugger wouldn’t returning after sustaining a partial tear of the left plantar fascia on July 26.
Former Angels outfielder Tim Salmon believes something else is over for Pujols: His career-long bout with plantar fasciitis on his left foot.
Salmon played through plantar fasciitis in his left foot for most of 1998, starting 111 of his 130 games at designated hitter, then had the surgery that cuts the connective tissue on the sole of the foot to release tension and relieve inflammation. And after that, plantar fasciitis never bothered him again.
Salmon believes it’ll be the same for Pujols, the 33-year-old who’s owed $212 million from 2014-21.
“I never had it again,” said Salmon, now a part-time analyst for the Angels at FOX Sports West. “Even today, all these years later, I can go jogging and stuff. It doesn’t bother me. He should be good to go.
“To me, that’s an injury that once you’re over it, you’re over it. I’d be more concerned with other ailments, let’s say a knee or something like that, than I would plantar fascia again.”
By shutting it down for the rest of the season, Salmon said, Pujols can allow the connective tissue on his foot to reconnect so that he can fully heal.
Salmon produced while dealing with plantar fasciitis in his age-30 season, batting .300 with 26 homers and 88 RBIs. Pujols didn’t, batting .258 with 17 homers and 64 RBIs while starting 65 of his 99 games at DH – which could be a byproduct of age, a more severe condition or the fact that he was also dealing with a surgically repaired right knee.
Salmon partial tore the plantar fascia while stepping on first base on a home run on April 22, 1998, prompting him to land on the disabled list, but he still required offseason surgery. Pujols isn’t expected to; his tear was a little more severe.
Going from having plantar fasciitis to not having it, Salmon said, was “night and day.”
“It’s like going to work with a toothache when you need a root canal,” he added. “Until you get it done, it’s going to hurt. And then after it’s done, it’s life as usual. That was the case for me.”