It started as back spasms. Then it was left ribcage inflammation. Now it’s a rare condition that could impact his career. So what’s really going on with Mike Trout?

After seeing a specialist, Trout was diagnosed with Costovertebral Dysfunction at T5. He has been sidelined since July 12, although his back has been bothering him for longer. Now he knows exactly why. This is a condition that affects the location in the back where the end of the ribs meet the transverse process (a small bony projection off the sides of each vertebrae). His problem is at the T5 vertebrae, which is in the upper middle of the back (it is the 5th of 12 vertebrae). It does not affect the spine, but it can present pain to the ribs and back area, and backs spasms often pop up.

Right now it’s all about pain management to get Trout back on the field. He already received a cortisone injection, but it can take a few weeks to properly kick in. A PRP injection is also a possibility if that doesn’t resolve his pain. I am expecting Trout to return sometime in August, but this is a highly recurrent issue. Trout is going to have to manage this throughout his career.

There is some good news, though. This shouldn’t end or even shorten his career, but it will lead to some times missed. When it starts to flare up, Trout needs to stop doing all baseball activities immediately and work to reduce inflammation. This will help with pain management and any spasms that occur. Baseball can be a tough sport when dealing with costovertebral dysfunction because it is affected by rotational movements. You can’t play baseball without rotating the trunk over and over again.

Of course this isn’t something we wanted to hear Mike Trout is dealing with, but it isn’t the worst thing. Yes, it will have an impact on him throughout his career, but we should still see MVP Mike Trout back. The Angels medical staff will need to stay on top of treatment to limit the impact Costovertebral dysfunction has on Trout’s ability to play. When any pain, spasms or inflammation appear, Trout needs to be immediately shut down and treated so it doesn’t become more serious.