A's pitcher A.J. Puk out indefinitely after shoulder strain diagnosis


A.J. Puk will miss at least two weeks dealing with a shoulder strain, A’s manager Bob Melvin said on Tuesday afternoon.

The left-hander ranked among baseball’s best pitching prospects will receive a cortisone injection in his ailing joint and rest 48 hours before a two-week ramp-up period.

The action plan was announced a day after Puk visited orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Puk will start the shortened 60-game regular-season on the injured list, with Daniel Mengden taking his spot in the rotation. Mengden is scheduled to start a July 28 home game against Colorado.

Melvin said the A’s won’t accelerate Puk’s rehab no matter how he responds during the ramp-up. The A’s are going to exercise caution and patience with Puk, even with an accelerated season where every game holds significant weight.

“It’s going to be a little while before we see him,” Melvin, who declined to give a ballpark estimate for when he might be back. “They’re not going to push him for two weeks, and that will not alter no matter how good he feels during that period of time.”

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Puk suffered a shoulder strain similar to one he dealt with during spring training, which would’ve caused him to miss the start of the regular season as it was originally scheduled. He’s out indefinitely for this one, a setback to a rotation that would’ve ranked among baseball’s best at full strength.

Melvin gave an update on Jesus Luzardo, who has thrown a Friday bullpen Friday and live batting practice before Monday’s exhibition since returning from quarantine. He’ll get a few days rest, throw a bullpen season and be ready for the first or second game of the regular season.

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