Hunter will return when son's case is resolved
Angels outfielder has been on restricted list since Monday
ANAHEIM -- Angels right fielder Torii Hunter, who has been on the restricted list since Monday to deal with a sexual-assault charge filed in Prosper, Texas, against his 17-year-old son, Darius McClinton-Hunter, will be away from the team "until this matter reaches a point where it's either resolved or at least under control," one of the family's lawyers said in a conference call on Thursday.
The matter, according to attorney Todd Shapiro, could be close to reaching a conclusion.
Shapiro said the juvenile who originally made the charges against Hunter's son, who attends Prosper High School, "recanted everything that she told the police eight days ago" in a Wednesday-night phone conversation with a "close family friend" of the Hunters who attends the same school.
Shapiro says he has a recording of the phone conversation, which is legal under Texas law, and he wants all charges to be dismissed against McClinton-Hunter.
Hunter left the Angels on Monday, when McClinton-Hunter was one of five arrested in Prosper on charges stemming from a month-long investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a child (16 years old or younger), which is a second-degree felony.
There's no limit to the amount of time a player can be on the restricted list.
"As far as we know, Torii has decided to stay here until this matter reaches a point where it's either resolved or at least under control," Shapiro said. "He has reiterated ... that he is a father certainly first and foremost, and baseball, as important as it is to him right now, his duties and his needs are his family's needs."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been in touch with Hunter. He said prior to Thursday's game he's still unsure when Hunter would return, but added: "I don't think it's going to be [a matter of] weeks."
With Hunter out, the hot-hitting Mark Trumbo has received most of the playing time in right field -- though he served as the designated hitter on Thursday -- and Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis have produced at third base when getting at-bats.
But Hunter's presence goes beyond whatever he gives the Angels on the field.
"Torii, he's like a ray of sunshine," Scioscia said. "When he walks into a clubhouse, you notice him. If you can't hear him, you can feel his presence. And there aren't many times you can't hear him."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.