MESA, Ariz. -- Ike Davis is nearing a return to the field as he recovers from back soreness that's sidelined him since March 11.
The first baseman is scheduled to start at designated hitter against either the Rockies or the Dodgers in one of Oakland's two games on Friday, said manager Bob Melvin. Davis said he felt healthy enough to play Wednesday, but with Thursday's off-day, he'll wait until Friday to rejoin the lineup.
"Everything is going great," Davis said. "But obviously, given this is a practice day and then having a day off tomorrow, it was just smarter than jumping into it now."
Davis, who turns 28 on Sunday, joined the A's in a trade with the Pirates in November.
Davis hit .271 through his first 183 big league games and then set career highs with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs with the Mets in 2012. That power has tapered off, as he's connected on just 20 homers in the past two years, albeit in fewer at-bats.
"I hit the most home runs, but I wouldn't consider 2012 my best year," Davis said. "But I would just like to play better. I feel like last year, obviously the average wasn't there, but everything else was. When you get 300-something at-bats, it's tough to hit a lot of home runs. And 11 isn't too bad in 300 at-bats."
For now, Davis is enjoying his new team, and he's eager to return to the field.
"We're having a bunch of fun together," Davis said. "We've got some grinders on the team. It's been a good camp so far."
• Outfielder Josh Reddick is also progressing toward a return from a right oblique strain that shut him down earlier this month. Melvin said Reddick was scheduled to pick up the bat Wednesday and take some swings without contact.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.