ANAHEIM -- Mark Trumbo's hope was that the stress fracture in his right foot would be completely healed by now, setting him up to start prepping for the upcoming season and, more specifically, learning the ropes at third base.
But his rehab is going to take a little longer than he originally estimated.
Trumbo now doesn't expect the crack in his foot to fully heal until the expected five-month recovery period, which would back him up to about the time he's slated to report for Spring Training in late February.
Trumbo anticipated a mid-November return to baseball activities when he was originally diagnosed in late September but was told to stay off it for an extra month. Then, a CT scan he underwent just before the new year revealed that the crack in his foot was still there and he would need a few more weeks to heal.
"I don't think I fully understood the injury at the beginning, to be honest, and that's on me," Trumbo said. "The injury is something that requires normally about five months to completely heal given the area that it's located and the lack of blood supply and everything else that has to do with foot injuries. If you look at the timeline, it normally takes five months and we're at 3 1/2, so that's where we're at right now."
Trumbo stressed that this latest development is in no way a setback -- more of a realization to just how serious the injury is and how unrealistic his previous expectations were.
The 25-year-old, who's entering his second season after being the runner-up in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2011, called the current crack "very minute" and said "it'd be very strange" if he wasn't fully recovered within the five-month timeframe.
Regarding the latter, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wrote in a text message that there's "no reason to speculate otherwise."
For now, Trumbo is running in the pool and is able to do some baseball activities from his knees -- field ground balls, throw and swing lightly. Once the CT scan reveals the gap has closed completely with more bone, Trumbo can get back to real baseball.
"I guess it can be very easy for me to get frustrated, but you just have to come to terms with it and understand that that's the nature of the deal," said Trumbo, who hit .254 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs in 2011. "It's going to take however much time it takes. I can't make anything any quicker. I just need to let it play out, and when it's healed, it's healed. I obviously hoped that that last image session would show [complete] healing and I can get back on the field, but it didn't. So I just have to be patient."
Trumbo excelled at first base last year but was left without a position after the Angels signed Albert Pujols on Dec. 8. Barring a trade, Trumbo will go into the 2012 season looking to get at-bats at third base and designated hitter. The Angels also have another recovering first baseman in Kendrys Morales, who has missed nearly two years with a broken left ankle.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.