The Oakland Athletics' will likely have their closer back sooner than expected. Grant Balfour underwent arthroscopic knee surgery 12 days ago. However, he was already back on the field throwing from flat ground. The surgery was minor, but Balfour is still ahead of schedule in his recovery.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Balfour could start playing in Cactus League games in two weeks. Barring any setbacks, he should be able to get plenty of appearances in before the regular season starts.
"The way I feel now is really encouraging," he said. "I told myself I wanted to be ready for the season, so I'm going to continue doing whatever it takes to get ready."
Balfour had a fantastic season last year for the A's. He appeared in 75 games, picked up 24 saves, and posted a 2.53 ERA. Balfour is entering the final year of a three-year contract he signed with Oakland. The 35-year old pitcher will likely get another solid deal if he continues to perform like he did last season.
In his career, Balfour has pitched in nine Major League seasons. He has a career 3.38 ERA. He only has 38 career saves as he was just recently moved into the closer role.
As a side note, Chris Young, who has been experiencing cramping and had to leave the A's game on Sunday, is not expected to play today.