Mike Sweeney would much rather prefer the first option, but the A's veteran knows the latter is equally as possible at this point, he admitted Tuesday before Oakland took on the visiting Royals.
"He didn't have a real good day yesterday," manager Bob Geren said on Tuesday of Sweeney's try at running. "I wouldn't call it a setback or make a big deal out of it, but it wasn't what we hoped it would be either."
The 35-year-old Sweeney, who is hitting and taking grounders with no pain, was initially placed on the disabled list on May 30 with left knee inflammation. Less than two weeks later, though, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees and has yet to play since.
When the A's leave for Boston following Wednesday's series finale against Kansas City, Sweeney will head to Arizona, where he said he'll be for about a week before deciding if he is ready for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento.
"The left knee is the one that's causing the most pain," he said. "It locks up every time I run, and the right one acts up when I'm decelerating."
Sweeney, who has had one stint on the DL in each of the past seven seasons, had right knee surgery last year in the final of his 13 seasons with the Royals. If he doesn't see improvement in Arizona, he will be forced to undergo season-ending microfracture surgery, which would help restore cartilage in both knees.
"I know I need the surgery at some point," said Sweeney, who will still receive the operation at the end of the season if all goes well in the next week. "I'm hungry to get back on the field, but it's out of my control."
Jane Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.