OAKLAND -– Ben Zobrist was feeling great one day after having arthroscopic knee surgery, and he expressed optimism about a relatively quick return to the field.
The A’s are being a bit more cautious. Zobrist and manager Bob Melvin both mentioned four to six weeks as a potential timetable for recovery before Zobrist underwent Tuesday’s procedure. But A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta said the first goal is to get the swelling down in Zobrist’s left knee.
He’ll begin minimal activity for the next week and the A’s will re-evaluate after that. Zobrist underwent a medial meniscal debridement to clear out frayed cartilage in his knee. He was already able to ride an exercise bike by Wednesday.
“That whole week and a few days until I got the surgery, it was hard,” Zobrist said. “ I knew that it wasn't right but I tried to gut it out. Now I feel like I'm on the other side of the hill. Now it's healthy. It's a matter of just getting it back to where it needs to be to be in games again. It feels good. It's a relief to know the issue is taken care of in there.”
Asked about the four-to-six week timeframe, Zobrist said he hopes to return even quicker than that. But he says he’ll follow the team’s lead in exercising caution. Paparesta said he’ll have a better idea of Zobrist’s schedule for baseball activity after the week-long period of minimal activity.
Right-hander Jarrod Parker came out of Tuesday night’s five-inning rehab start with Single-A Stockton fine and said his next outing will be with Triple-A Nashville as he gets closer to a return from Tommy John surgery. He said he’ll throw 75 pitches in his next start -– same as Tuesday -– and will likely build up closer to 100 pitches in the starts following that.
Parker’s 30-day rehabilitation stint can last through May 22. Were he to pitch on an every-fifth-day schedule, it would leave room for four more minor league starts before the A’s had to decide whether to add him to the 25-man roster or officially option him to the minors.
In other injury news, infielder Tyler Ladendorf –- who won a spot on the Opening Day roster before being sent down April 12 –- underwent surgery on his left ankle that is expected to sideline him a few months, according to Paparesta. Ladendorf injured his ankle about a week ago while rounding first base in a game with Nashville.