Back in early November, Albert Pujols underwent surgery to repair a plantar plate on the big toe of his right foot. On Monday, Pujols was informed that he can now remove his walking boot according to a report from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
Albert Pujols (right foot) has been given the OK to ditch walking boot. "The feedback we’re getting is that he’s doing great," Eppler said.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 5, 2016
Gonzalez goes on to quote Angels general manager Billy Eppler who said the preliminary feedback is positive.
The original timetable for Pujols' recovery had him slated to return in late March. While that likely means he will miss Spring Training, Opening Day might still be a slim reality.
Pujols spent the last 28 games of the 2015 season as designated hitter due to the injury. While it's unclear at this time whether or not he could start the 2016 season as DH, the Angels could definitely use his offense in the lineup as soon as possible.
The additions of Yunel Escobar, Daniel Nava, and Craig Gentry could help soften the blow offensively, while Andrelton Simmons will provide elite defense at the shortstop position. However, the Angels, who have failed to address many needs this offseason, could get left behind quickly in a competitive AL West if they are without Pujols.