Brian Kotloff
Sunday April 21st, 2013

(Layne Murdoch/Getty Images) Albert Pujols has started nine out of 17 games at DH this season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

The plantar fasciitis in Albert Pujols' left foot has become so painful that he will likely be unable to play first base for an extended period of time, according to the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikan.

Pujols said of the injury, an inflammation of the tissue that stretches across the bottom of the foot, "I'm dying. It's hurting real bad."

The 33-year-old started at designated hitter for the fourth straight game on Sunday and ninth time in 17 games this season, compared to eight games at first base. He entered Sunday's game with a .322 average and .939 OPS -- both slightly below his career numbers.

In 2012, Pujols' first season in the American League, he played 120 games at first and 34 at DH.

Pujols plans to play for the injury, which can only be treated with rest, so whether he can avoid the disabled list depends on his pain tolerance, as GM Jerry Dipoto said.

From the LA Times report:

The most effective treatment can be to stay off the foot -- in the case of a baseball player, a stint on the disabled list to let the inflammation subside. Jerry Dipoto, the Angels' general manager, said the team hopes to manage the injury through treatment and let Pujols play until he says he cannot tolerate the discomfort.

"We've discussed every alternative imaginable," Dipoto said. "We've consulted with specialists. "He is particularly tough, mentally and physically. He's handling it as well as you can."

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