McCarthy makes progress, might go home soon

McCarthy makes progress, might go home soon

ANAHEIM -- Less than a week removed from emergency brain surgery after being hit in the skull by a batted ball, A's righty Brandon McCarthy continues to make steady progress and could even be heading home soon.

That was the good news relayed from Angel Stadium on Monday via A's head trainer Nick Paparesta, who said McCarthy's doctors "are all very happy with how he's doing and the progress that's been made" since he was struck by a line drive Wednesday.

The 29-year-old McCarthy, now stationed in a transitional care unit at a Bay Area hospital, walked down the hallway on Monday and went up and down four steps using a handrail. He was to be evaluated by physical therapists in the evening.

"The neurologist was very happy with the results of his examination today," Paparesta said. "I think that we're a little more comfortable with where he is and how he's doing. He's been able to spend some time on his phone and text some of his teammates back and kind of go back and forth a little bit with them."

His teammates began a four-games set in Anaheim on Monday, and inside the home clubhouse, Erick Aybar -- whose line drive hit McCarthy -- expressed concern for the pitcher.

"It's been hard," Aybar said through a translator. "You never want that to happen. We may be on different teams, but I don't wish harm upon anybody. I always want things to turn out well."

Aybar left McCarthy a cell phone message and received a call back from McCarthy's wife, Amanda, who filled him in on her husband's encouraging progress.

He's had several visitors in the past few days, including Oakland pitcher Andrew Carignan, and Paparesta noted many have said they "feel he's definitely kind of being himself again."