Lowrie's closing in on return to A's lineup

Lowrie's closing in on return to A's lineup

OAKLAND -- Jed Lowrie has yet to resume fielding grounders and won't take batting practice until later this week. Still, the A's second baseman believes he'll be good to go when he's eligible to come off the disabled list later this month.

Lowrie has been out since fouling a ball of his right shin while playing against the Red Sox on May 9. While he has done some light hitting off a tee, the veteran infielder has been limited in his rehab due to lingering swelling near his ankle.

"The swelling has gone down significantly but there's still enough in the ankle to restrict some movement," Lowrie said. "Maybe as counter-intuitive as it seems, you have to continue to move on it to make sure that the range of motion comes back. It doesn't feel good when they're digging in it and when I'm pushing it but that's what you have to do."

Lowrie did some light running and throwing prior to Tuesday's game against the Rangers. The plan is for him to take batting practice on Thursday, with the possibility of doing infield work then as well.

If all goes well, Lowrie will likely go on a short rehab assignment in the Minors. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on May 25 when the A's are in Seattle. With an off day after that, the team could wait until the start of a three-game home series against Detroit on May 27 to make a roster decision.

Manager Bob Melvin didn't rule out the possibility that Lowrie could skip the rehab assignment and join the A's directly off the disabled list but said it's more likely they'll send him down to get work in.

"If there's anybody that we have that could potentially just come straight back in it would be either he or Coco [Crisp]," Melvin said. "But it's always nice to get some game at-bats."

WORTH NOTING

• The A's were awaiting word on Henderson Alvarez after the right-hander underwent an MRI on his pitching shoulder. Melvin said that team doctors believe Alvarez has a shoulder strain but won't know for certain until getting the test results.

• Infielder Max Muncy was called up from Triple-A Nashville after the team optioned left-hander Eric Surkamp to the Minors. Muncy was batting .279 with six home runs and 15 RBIs for Nashville.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor for MLB.com based in Oakland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.