Willingham likely to return on Thursday

Willingham likely to return on Thursday

OAKLAND -- Following his club's 2-0 win over the Mariners on Wednesday, A's manager Bob Melvin delivered more good news by hinting that Josh Willingham is likely to make his long-awaited return from the disabled list on Thursday.

"If he doesn't hurt himself tonight eating dinner or whatever, I feel like there's a good chance he'll play [Thursday]," the skipper said.

The timing couldn't be better for the A's, who are set to begin a four-game set on Thursday in Texas, where warm weather and a hitter-friendly ballpark could make for the perfect ingredients for Willingham's power bat.

The A's outfielder, who has been sidelined by a nagging Achilles injury, leads the team with 10 home runs, and his presence has been missed in a struggling lineup that scored just five runs in the three-game series against Seattle.

Oakland is not expected to officially announce the move, or any other corresponding transaction, until Thursday.