A.J. Puk has no structural damage in shoulder; return still uncertain


A's top prospect A.J. Puk was shut down on Tuesday after being diagnosed with a mild shoulder strain. An MRI revealed no structural damage.

Manager Bob Melvin offered an additional update on Thursday, saying once again there is nothing "structurally wrong." Melvin said the team will have Puk participate in a few days of strengthening before he plays catch.

"I'm not sure what day we have targeted for him to start throwing again," he told reporters. 

Puk met with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Thursday, which was dubbed a prescheduled visit.

Dr. ElAttrache had performed Tommy John surgery previously on the 24-year-old in April of 2018.

[RELATED: Puk, Murphy don't worry about ranking on prospect lists]

Last season, Puk made his highly-anticipated MLB debut. In 11 1/3 innings of relief, he boasted a 3.18 ERA with 13 strikeouts and a 1.324 WHIP.

It's possible the A's take conservative care with him heading into the regular season, as he is projected to be part of a promising starting rotation. 

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