LOS ANGELES Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols has been shut down for the remainder of the season after deciding to rest his injured left foot rather than rejoin his team's ailing campaign.
The 33-year-old first baseman suffered a partial tear in the foot last month and has been advised by the Angels medical staff that it would be better not to rush back.
"It was not an easy decision, as competitive of a player as I am," Pujols told reporters. "But I also understand wanting to look past this season."
Pujols has been dealing with nagging issues in the foot all season and has started 65 of his 99 games at designated hitter rather than his regular post of first base as a result.
A three-time National League MVP during his first 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols has not recaptured his stellar form since signing a lucrative deal to join Los Angeles prior to the 2012 campaign.
He batted .285 last year, previously the lowest mark of his career, and will end 2013 batting just .258. with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs. Pujols is eight homers shy of 500 and two RBIs short of 1,500 over his career.
The Angels sit near the bottom of the American League West and look likely to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney)