OAKLAND -- The A's began their four-game series against the visiting Twins on Thursday night without Yoenis Cespedes, who received a cortisone shot after Wednesday's game to alleviate pain in his right shoulder.
Cespedes, diagnosed with tendinitis in the shoulder on Tuesday after injuring it nearly two weeks ago, "feels really good today," according to manager Bob Melvin, and could be back in the starting lineup as soon as Friday.
"Whether we get him in the game tonight, not sure yet," Melvin said Thursday, "but hoping he can play tomorrow."
Upon his return, Cespedes is likely to continue DHing for at least a day or two before testing his shoulder in the outfield. But that's where he's needed most, which was the biggest reason why he was given the cortisone shot. Brandon Moss started in left field Thursday.
"We want him in the outfield, and we want him to throw," Melvin said. "Sometimes that speeds up the process. He has been feeling better with it as of late, but we felt this could speed it up even more so and give us a better chance to get him in the outfield sooner than later."
Cespedes did some shagging in the outfield on Thursday afternoon but was not expected to throw or hit. He belted his 24th homer of the season on Wednesday, one more than he had in his 2012 rookie season.
The Cuban slugger is enjoying a monstrous September, batting .365 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 16 games -- 10 of the multihit variety -- this month.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.