OAKLAND -- Collin Cowgill is walking around without crutches and expects to be ready when eligible to return from the disabled list on July 8. The outfielder sprained his left ankle on June 22 against the Giants, after laying out for a ball hit by Brandon Belt in the ninth inning. After missing the ball on a dive, he had to chase it down and sprained his ankle in the process. Cowgill, 26, has missed nine games since the injury. He was hitting .300 (9 for 30) with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games before getting hurt. "Every day it has been better," Cowgill said before Monday's series opener against Boston. "I think when it is time to come off I'll be ready to go." A's manager Bob Melvin echoed his young outfielder's sentiment. The expectation for Cowgill to return at the end of the 15-day stint appeared optimistic, as Cowgill was forced to use crutches to walk around for the first two days. He has been working hard with the team athletic trainers to get his ankle ready. "Just trying to keep it moving so the scar tissue doesn't make it less flexible," Cowgill said. "Trying to get my legs and keep it strong, stay in shape." The right-handed hitter says he has never rolled an ankle that bad in his career. It remains to be seen what the A's will do with him when he returns. He might have to work to get his timing back in Triple-A because the A's have a pretty full outfield. Either way he is hustling to get back."You've got 15 days to get it ready," he said. "I think when those 15 days are up I'll be ready."