Balfour hoping for clearance to get back on mound

PHOENIX – A’s reliever Grant Balfour’s vow to be back and pitching within four weeks of his meniscus surgery still has two weeks to run.

As is often the case with Balfour, he seems to be ahead of schedule.

    The hard-charging Oakland closer, threw 35 pitches on flat ground in the morning and is scheduled to see team medics today to see if he can get clearance to get back to throwing off a mound. He’s been throwing on flat ground for a few days now with no evident pain.

A’s trainer Nick Paparesta confirmed the meeting with the doctors, which if it goes as Balfour hopes, could have him back on the mound in a matter of days.

Manager Bob Melvin and Paparesta indicated there likely would be at least one more throwing session on flat ground for Balfour before going further.

“The next step will be throwing off the mound,’’ Paparesta said. “When that will be will be determined by the doctors.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.