Bassitt eager to return following surgery

August 27th, 2021

OAKLAND -- The A’s are still formulating their plan for ’s rehab. Bassitt, however, already has his own schedule in mind for a return to action.

Just two days after undergoing facial surgery to repair fractured bones caused by a line drive that hit him in the face on Aug. 17, A’s manager Bob Melvin received a text from Bassitt on Thursday morning. The message was clear: Bassitt intends to pitch again before season’s end.

“He broke down the timeline,” Melvin said. “One day after he’s potentially able to do baseball activity, he has himself [pitching] in a baseball game. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not, but it wouldn’t surprise you coming from him.”

A return to baseball activity for Bassitt is expected to come somewhere around the 10-day mark after the date of the surgery. Pitching again just one day after that is wishful thinking, as Bassitt will still need sufficient time for the repaired bones under his right eye to heal.

Going off the general six-week timetable that has been given by doctors, Bassitt could have a chance to appear in a game around the final week of the regular season in late September or early October.

"He has himself back in a game in a couple of weeks. That’s not going to be the case,” Melvin said. “We just, more than anything, want him to be a hundred percent healthy. We’ll go from there on whether or not he pitches again this year.”

Regardless of whether he takes the mound at all, the A’s look forward to getting their All-Star ace back in the clubhouse. Beyond the right-hander’s impressive work on the field -- 12-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 25 starts and 154 strikeouts across 151 innings -- Bassitt’s impact has also been missed inside the clubhouse, where he’s emerged as one of the club’s leaders and a great resource for the other pitchers on the staff.

Bassitt is still in Chicago as he recovers from surgery, and Melvin said the plan is for Bassitt to fly back to the Bay Area on Friday morning. From there, the club is hopeful to have him around the clubhouse on Saturday and Sunday for the final two games of the current four-game series against the Yankees.

“It’ll be great to have him around,” Melvin said. “He’s a team leader for us and someone that has a prominent personality in the clubhouse.”