The next time Kendrys Morales takes the field in a game, his teammates and coaches aren’t likely to tell him to “break a leg.”

The L.A. Angels first baseman did just that late last May and hasn’t made a single appearance in a game since. Nearly a year removed from the injury that effectively killed his and the Angels’ season, Morales still isn’t quite ready for game time.

In fact, it’s only in the last couple of weeks that Morales has been allowed to perform baseball activities of any kind out on the diamond, but even that has proven too strenuous.

Last week, the Angels announced that Morales will start the season on the 15-day disabled list. The move didn’t come as a complete surprise to fans, but it was unwelcome all the same.

On Tuesday, Morales was sidelined with soreness in his foot, which the team attributed to his recent workout efforts as he continues to ease his way back into playing form.

Apparently those leaps and bounds by which he was improving were just a little too long.

But don’t let these little setbacks cloud the reality: when this guy gets healthy, he will be a monster again.

The fear, of course, is that Morales will never again frighten teams the way he did during his breakout campaign in 2009, when he slugged 34 home runs and finished fifth in the AL MVP voting.

Without his big bat anchoring the middle of the order for the majority of last season, the Angels struggled like mad to generate offense.

However, this is not the same club that took the field on Opening Day last year.

Sure, aging players like Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu failed to step up before, and table-setters like Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo found it difficult to work their way on base without a significant power threat behind them.

But now, having gone through all of that, the Angels are a little older, perhaps a bit wiser, and certainly a whole lot stronger.

Their offseason acquisition of outfielder Vernon Wells, however controversial it may have been, will do wonders for a disturbingly anemic ball club sans Morales. Wells showed he can still strike fear in the hearts of pitchers, jacking 31 big flies, driving in 88 runs, and earning his third All-Star selection.

Back in the infield, with Morales still on the mend, the Angels will turn to power-hitting rookie Mark Trumbo to man first base.

Trumbo has been lighting up scoreboards and scouting reports this spring, with nearly as many homers as the rest of the Angels starters combined. Although his major league experience is limited, he is the ideal temporary solution to the team’s Cuban missile crisis.

The Angels still need Morales back as quickly as possible, he is their star after all. But until he is fully ready to go, there is no need to rush and no need to panic. The Angels don’t need to trade for Albert Pujols, clear salary room for Prince Fielder, or declare the 2011 season over just yet.

Baseball seasons are not won or lost in the first month. Things aren’t nearly as bleak as they were last May. This time around, the Angels have enough in their revamped arsenal to hold on until Morales gets back.

And when he does, the heavens will smile on Anaheim once more.

Read more MLB news on