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Crisp no closer to return, but DL not in plans

OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp missed his seventh consecutive game on Saturday because of lingering neck issues and is no closer to returning to the lineup, but the A's have no plans to put their center fielder on the disabled list.

"He's shown that he doesn't need any rehab, and when he's been off for periods of time, he's been able to come back and be productive right away," said manager Bob Melvin. "For those reasons, we're always hesitant to put him on the DL. And when he turns a corner, he usually turns the corner pretty quickly, and the next thing you know, he's in the lineup. He's the one guy we're really careful about putting on the DL."

Crisp received several trigger point injections earlier this week to alleviate muscle pain, but he's yet to resume baseball activity, making his availability for Sunday's finale against the Royals doubtful.

That leaves Melvin with a three-man bench for another day -- an inconvenience for any manager, but particularly for one who so often plays to matchups.

"It makes things a little more difficult, certainly early," said Melvin. "But we've also had guys who have come along to the point where we're not matching up with them like we did in the past, whether it's [Derek] Norris or [Brandon] Moss. But it can be difficult with a three-man bench to make some of the moves we do.

"You always want someone on there who can do multiple things and in case someone gets hurt, but it's more of a challenge this way."

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