Duchscherer could return on Saturday

Duchscherer could return on Saturday

ARLINGTON -- Oakland manager Bob Geren on Tuesday deemed Justin Duchscherer the "leading candidate" to start Saturday's game in Anaheim.

That's good news for the right-hander, who received a cortisone shot last week for inflammation in his left hip, aggravation that surfaced at the beginning of the season and eventually led to Duchscherer's early exit from an April 29 start in Toronto.

Duchscherer was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 7, retroactive to April 30. He threw a bullpen session on Monday, before the club hopped on its charter flight to Texas, and Geren reported that the righty "is doing very well." He'll toss another bullpen session on Wednesday to officially determine his readiness for Saturday's nod against the Angels.

The veteran pitcher, who also missed a chunk of time during Spring Training due to lower back pain and, subsequently, a nerve ablation procedure, was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts for Oakland before exiting his last outing against the Blue Jays after just 3 1/3 innings.

The A's have had the luxury of sticking with a four-man rotation for the time being, thanks to an off-day Monday that took away the need for a fifth starter until Saturday. As a result, they've been lugging around nine relievers -- all of whom are well rested thanks to Dallas Braden's perfect game Sunday.