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Shohei Ohtani growing ‘a little impatient’ as return nears

Shohei Ohtani is seven months removed from Tommy John surgery and is getting agonizingly close to a return to the field. It is now clear that the monotony of rehab, compounded by an eagerness to return to the lineup, is beginning to wear on the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way player.

“I’m pretty impatient to begin with, so I am getting a little impatient,” Ohtani said through an interpreter this week, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “But as I get closer and closer, the more impatient I’m getting.”

The earliest the Angels expect to see Ohtani back in the lineup is next week at the earliest. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year says he “feels great,” his rehab is “a little ahead of schedule” and with 32 at-bats in simulated-game situations feels that his timing is “getting better each day.”

Brad Ausmus, illustrating how the team will exercise extreme caution with the budding superstar, said that Ohtani will “have to go through the whole process” before returning, though the Angels skipper highlighted how the slugger/pitcher is “nearing the end of it.”

“Personally,” Ohtani said, “I feel like I’m ready to go as of right now.”

A stewing Ohtani has been watching games from the dugout for the past month, and he’s itching to see some live action in a real game.

“I’m starting to get a little tired of answering these questions,” Ohtani said about fielding endless questions about his rehab and recovery. “Hopefully next time I can answer what happened in the game.”