Ohtani believes he can return from Tommy John surgery this month

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The Los Angeles Angels may be on the verge of a major addition.

Shohei Ohtani continues to progress through his rehab following Tommy John surgery and believes he could return in April if the team's medical staff clears him.

"Personally I feel like I can get back this month, but it's going to be up to the team," Ohtani said, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. "I do want to get back as soon as possible.

"As a player, I think it's natural to try to get back as quickly as possible. That's how I'm feeling right now. But it's not up to me; it's up to the team. I know they're trying to be very careful with me."

Ohtani underwent right elbow surgery in early October to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. While he'll be unable to pitch this season, the expectation was that he'd be able to return in 2019 and serve as the club's designated hitter, as position players return to the field faster than pitchers.

The Angels could certainly use the help offensively. Entering play Thursday, Los Angeles ranked 29th in runs scored (13), home runs (1), and last in OPS (.481) through six games. Only Kole Calhoun has homered for the team.

Ohtani slashed .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs, 21 doubles, and 10 stolen bases in 367 plate appearances as a rookie last season.

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