Shohei Ohtani made his first public appearance Saturday since undergoing elbow surgery earlier in the month, attending a ceremony to accept the Los Angeles' Angels Most Valuable Player award for the third year in a row.

The two-way star received the award, voted by teammates, from Angels General Manager Perry Minasian at Angel Stadium. Right-hander Carlos Estevez was honored as the team's pitcher of the year.

Shohei Ohtani (2nd from R) holds the Los Angeles Angels' team MVP award at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Sept. 30, 2023. (Kyodo)

Ohtani's previous appearance with the Angels was on the bench during their Sept. 17 game against the Detroit Tigers, two days before the surgery on his right elbow.

The favorite for this year's American League MVP is entering free agency after the season and is expected to sign a record deal with a new club.

Ohtani this season posted a .304 batting average, a .412 on-base percentage and a .654 slugging average, all highs in his six-year MLB career, while also going 10-5 as a pitcher with a 3.14 ERA. He is set to be crowned AL home run champion with 44 despite playing just 135 games.

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