Gentry tests back; Melvin expects Cook ready for regular season

Gentry tests back; Melvin expects Cook ready for regular season
February 24, 2014, 12:30 pm
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We want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we start him up, much to his chagrin. He’s doing the bike, doing the back exercise stuff. Everything he doesn’t want to do.
Bob Melvin on Craig Gentry

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PHOENIX – Outfielder Craig Gentry swung a bat Monday morning to test his strained back, but he’ll continue to be brought back to full baseball activity slowly.

“It’s getting better,” Gentry said before taking his swings. “If it’s gonna happen, I’m glad it’s happening now. Games haven’t started yet. We can knock this issue out, and I’ll be ready.”

It’s safe to say Gentry won’t be playing in Oakland’s Cactus League opener Wednesday against the Giants in Scottsdale.

“He’s champing at the bit,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we start him up, much to his chagrin. He’s doing the bike, doing the back exercise stuff. Everything he doesn’t want to do.”

In other injury updates, reliever Ryan Cook (shoulder inflammation) might get back on the mound sometime this week, Melvin said. He added that he’s confident Cook will be fine for the March 31 regular season opener.

Fellow reliever Sean Doolittle, whose throwing schedule was delayed by a calf strain, has been back on a regular pitching routine. He estimates he could appear in his first exhibition by the weekend.

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