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Scary moment in Garrett Richards’ encouraging return for Angels



In honor of MLB Opening Day here’s a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Opening Day history.

OAKLAND – The encouraging comeback, the pioneering treatment, even the direction of the Los Angeles Angels’ season seemed threatened as Garrett Richards walked off the mound in the fifth inning Wednesday night alongside the team’s trainer.

Richards had looked sharp in his first start since May 1, hitting 98 mph on the stadium radar gun and holding the Oakland Athletics to three hits over 4 2/3 innings in the Angels’ eventual 5-0 victory.

But as he headed to the dugout, having rubbed the area around his elbow, it was impossible not to think of the ligament tear that had ended Richards’ 2016 season after one month and jeopardized his career.

The elbow apparently is fine. The Angels announced later that Richards had left the game for precautionary reasons after experiencing cramping in his right biceps. No need to panic, at least for now.

“It’s nothing serious,” said Richards, who felt tightness over his last 5-6 pitches. “My arm feels good. I felt good tonight. The elbow feels fine, the shoulder feels fine. It was just kind of a long inning and it stiffed up a little bit, but nothing to be worried about.”

Richards’ arm passed a strength test after he left the game, and manager Mike Scioscia said there are no plans for him to have an MRI exam, although he’ll get checked after the club returns home following Thursday’s matinee.

Still, there figures to be some concern about the status of Richards’ elbow for several weeks if not months, because he…

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