Chavez remains restricted to therapy

Chavez remains restricted to therapy

OAKLAND -- When A's manager Bob Geren is posed a question about third baseman Eric Chavez's health and immediately refers the questioner to the team's athletic trainer, it typically means there's something significant to be announced.

The last time it happened, for instance, head athletic trainer Steve Sayles reported on March 25 that Chavez, still trying to rally his body in the wake of offseason back surgery, had been "shut down completely" and instructed to cease all baseball-related activity.

Geren on Tuesday volunteered that Chavez was expected to be at McAfee Coliseum for Oakland's domestic home opener, prompting the inevitable health question and Geren's inevitable deflection, but this time, Sayles didn't have anything earth-shaking to offer.

He didn't have anything very encouraging to say about the six-time American League Gold Glove winner, either.

"He's going to physical therapy," Sayles said. "Still no baseball activity at all. Just back therapy."

In missing the trip to Tokyo for Opening Series Japan 2008 and starting the year on the disabled list, Chavez saw his team-record-tying streak of nine consecutive Opening Day starts snapped. In keeping with team policy, Sayles won't offer a timetable for Chavez's return, but it's increasingly likely that the team's longest-tenured player will miss at least the first month of the season.

Chavez will be examined by Dr. John Frazier, the club's orthopedist, on Wednesday.

"[Frazier is] going to evaluate him, see where he's at, and see what he needs," said Sayles, who added that the team might have a more specific rehab plan outlined for Chavez by Friday.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.