The news comes from LA Times' Mike DiGiovanna:
#Angels LF Vernon Wells diagnosed with torn ligament in his right thumb. Will undergo surgery Tuesday. Probably out 6-8 weeks minimum.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) May 21, 2012
Of course, "minimum" means best-case scenario, and FOX sports' Jon Morosi gives a bit of a bleaker outlook:
BREAKING: #Angels outfielder Vernon Wells will miss 8-10 weeks due to surgery on ulnar collateral ligament in right thumb tomorrow.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 21, 2012
This comes as a significant blow for the 18-24 Angels.
Wells is hitting 30 points below his career batting average, but he has continued to provide solid pop for his team. The 33-year-old has knocked out six home runs and is slugging .422.
These certainly aren't Earth-shattering numbers, but Wells served as a solid mainstay for the middle-to-late portion of Los Angeles' lineup, usually hitting sixth or seventh.
Additionally, and most importantly, this injury kills Los Angeles' depth in the outfield, especially with Ryan Langerhans also heading to the DL.
Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo can serve as the starters, and eventually Torii Hunter will be back, but the Angels don't have many reliable options after that.
Wells may not be spectacular on the field anymore, but Angels fans will realize his worth now that he's gone for an extended period.