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Zobrist's slow recovery has his status for weekend unclear

ANAHEIM -- Oakland's Ben Zobrist is easing his way back into baseball activity, two days after receiving a cortisone shot in his sore left knee, but it's unclear whether he'll be able to participate in this weekend's home series against the Astros.

The A's infielder/outfielder took swings in the batting cage without experiencing pain and also stretched with the club before Wednesday night's game at Angel Stadium. He's expected to advance to live batting practice on Thursday and test his knee his knee with more rigorous movement.

Lateral action could prove to be most challenging.

"I think that's going to be the toughest thing," said Zobrist. "That, and potentially running the bases. If I can get to a point where I feel close to 100 percent with those things, then I think I can play. If not, then we'll have to reevaluate and see what the other options are."

Zobrist exited in the fith inning on Sunday in Kansas City, then had an MRI exam on Tuesday. There is no ligament damage in the knee, but the exam revealed cartilage damage that has built up over time. The hope is that Tuesday's shot will be enough to aleviate the issue.

• Outfielder Coco Crisp (right elbow surgery) played catch out to a distance of 60 feet in Oakland on Wednesday and also took dry swings from both sides, "and felt good," said manager Bob Melvin.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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