A's take cautious approach with Inge's return

A's take cautious approach with Inge's return

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Inge's stay on the disabled list has been extended.

The third baseman began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday in his recovery from a strained right shoulder. He was eligible to return to the big league club on Monday, but manager Bob Melvin preferred to be cautious with the 35-year-old.

"We want to make sure that he has the proper amount of at-bats, that he makes all the throws," Melvin said. "He'll certainly say he can play and I know he wants to. He's probably a little disappointed he's not here right now, but we're going to make sure that he's prepared to play."

Melvin said Inge could rejoin the team "in the next couple of days" or perhaps when the A's return home this weekend. The veteran is batting .224 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 73 contests for Oakland this season. Josh Donaldson has stepped up in Inge's absence, carrying a .386 average in 44 August at-bats into Monday's affair against the Indians.

Donaldson's emergence played into the A's decision to ease Inge back to big league action.

"It does make it easier," Melvin said. "It gives us the opportunity to make sure he's 100 percent healthy when he gets back. A guy like him, he's going to tell you he's OK no matter what. He's a tough guy."