Albert Pujols (Brian Bahr / Getty Images)

A painful season may well come to an early end for Albert Pujols, who was placed on the Los Angeles Angels’ 15-day disabled list Sunday.

Pujols, who has hit .258 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI, has been bothered all season by plantar fasciitis and now has a partial tear of the plantar fascia that, according to Manager Mike Scioscia, will sideline him “for a significant amount of time.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player who wants to go out there and do everything he can until the last drop of his body is used up before considering going on the DL,” Scioscia said. “He can play at a high level and be productive at what is maybe 50 to 60 percent of his health.”

That, given the six weeks’ recovery time needed and the Angels’ fall from contention, most likely means that Pujols is done for the season. As Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times points out, the fascia tear essentially accomplishes what surgery would have and has the added benefit of having occurred now rather than after the season.

Pujols, who underwent an MRI on Saturday, is in a walking boot and is going to see a foot specialist Monday.

In the short run, though, Pujols’ loss will be difficult to absorb. He was the team’s No. 3 hitter and was heating up at the plate, going 12 for 34 (.353) with two home runs and seven RBIs in eight games after the All-Star break.

“It’s difficult to even think we won’t have him around because of what he brings to the clubhouse, to the lineup, to the game every day,” shortstop Erick Aybar told the Times through a translator. Pujols, the No. 3 hitter, was hitting .353 since the all-star break.

“In a sense, we felt his pain when he was playing, and we feel it even more now that things are not good for him. We know how much pain he was in. It’s baseball, we continue to move on and hope for the best for him.”

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