A's see hurt players closer to returning

A's see hurt players closer to returning

SEATTLE -- With seven players currently on the disabled list, the Athletics are hurting in plenty of areas. But manager Bob Geren talked on Friday about the progress that some of the DL inhabitants are making toward getting back on the field.

Rookie outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 13 with a sprained right thumb, started hitting off a tee on Thursday.

"We'll see how he progresses. He has a sprained thumb and when things are tolerable to swing, he'll start swinging," Geren said. "I mean he's on that path now. ... There's no exact timetable, just depends on how he feels."

Geren also gave an update on pitcher Keith Foulke, who has been on the DL since July 3 with right shoulder inflammation.

"Keith Foulke's doing better -- he's going to throw a bullpen probably Saturday, maybe pitch in a game in Arizona on Monday, give or take a day, and that would be best case scenario," Geren said. "Maybe throw a couple games down there and then go to [Triple-A] Sacramento."

The other Sweeney, Mike, has been on the DL since May 29 with a left knee inflammation. But he was sent to Sacramento on Monday for a rehab assignment and played five uneventful innings at first base on Friday.

Geren also said that pitcher Sean Gallagher, who just went on the DL on Thursday because of right shoulder fatigue, would take the weekend off throwing and might not be shut down as long as the manager previously thought. He hopes to get both Gallagher and Justin Duchscherer (strained hip) back before the end of the season.

Jesse Baumgartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.