A's lefty Braden finally off injured list

January 14, 2010, 7:19 pm
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Jan. 14, 2010A'S PAGE

Just got off the phone with A's lefty Dallas Braden, whose breakout 2009 season ended with a bizarre series of medical mishaps; what started with a rash on his left foot turned into an infection, ultimately leading to some sort of "procedure" that left him with what might be permanent nerve damage.Braden, who started for Oakland on Opening Day and was putting together a really solid season before he got hurt (despite getting hosed out of a bunch of wins due to awful run support), was driving back to his hometown of Stockton from a doctor's appointment in San Ramon when I called him, and he was pretty psyched about things.Basically, what he did in San Ramon was finally complete his 2009 end-of-season physical. Not sure why that took so long -- insert couponA's-are-cheap joke here -- but the news here is that Braden passed. That wouldn't have happened had the physical been completed in early October.Dallas said he's spoken with A's assistant trainer Walt Horn, whom the players seem to trust and respect the most on the medical side, and Horn told him if everything went well with the doc, Braden would be officially removed from the "injured players" list.So there you go. Dallas is no longer injured. In fact, he said he's been throwing for some time, and his arm feels great. He still can't feel a couple of his toes, including the pinky toe (which affects his balance a touch), but he's done some pain-free running and he's now cleared to do everything anyone else preparing for spring training is doing right now.
-- Mychael Urban