And with the A's bound for the postseason, McCarthy said he could potentially be ready to pitch if the A's make a deep enough October run.
"At this point, nothing is impossible," McCarthy said, adding that it may take the A's reaching the World Series in order for him to return. "I'm not going to be putting myself in any danger, and we'll see how it goes. We might as well win it at this point."
"It wouldn't surprise me if he was able to do that, and that's about as far as I'll go with that," a smiling manager Bob Melvin said after the A's beat the Rangers, 12-5, to take their first division lead on the last day of the regular season.
McCarthy began joining his teammates in the A's dugout starting last Friday for the Mariners series, watching alongside them as Oakland won its final six games of the season.
"It was very inspirational for us," Melvin said of having McCarthy in the dugout for the last week. "Just having his jersey in the dugout for a while, that was an inspiration itself. You could see everybody go to it every game and touch his jersey, and then to actually have him in the dugout was just terrific. He's just another piece that brought us here, not just his contributions as a pitcher, but afterwards, just inspirationally."
The raucous A's celebration Wednesday followed Monday's celebration for clinching a postseason berth, and McCarthy said it would have been hard to imagine joining his teammates in the fun a few weeks ago when he was recovering from surgery to alleviate pressure from his skull after a CT scan showed an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture.
"It's better than watching it at home, I'll tell you that," McCarthy said as teammates doused him with champagne and beer. "This is what you want to be a part of, and to do it twice in a week is pretty spectacular, and we're pretty fortunate. I got to do this once in my rookie year, and since then I haven't even sniffed it. I realized then how lucky I was to have one opportunity at it, and then the older you get, you realize how fortunate you are and really try to soak it in."