MESA, Ariz. -- Dustin Fowler will make his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday, and A's manager Bob Melvin is determined to get him the at-bat he was robbed of in his big league debut.Melvin has Fowler leading off and playing center field against the Royals in his first
MESA, Ariz. -- Dustin Fowler will make his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday, and A's manager Bob Melvin is determined to get him the at-bat he was robbed of in his big league debut.
Melvin has Fowler leading off and playing center field against the Royals in his first game since June 29. He was a Yankee then, stationed in right field when he collided with an exposed electrical box at Guaranteed Rate Field in the first inning. Removed from the field on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, Fowler underwent right knee surgery for an open rupture of the patella tendon.
Fowler returned to Chicago on Friday for a visit with Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph, who granted him the all-clear following a nearly eight-month rehab.
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"I think originally we might have had him targeted a week later, but they're saying he's done everything, worked hard and gotten to a point where they're comfortable getting him out there," Melvin said. "We take the lead from the training staff, obviously, but it's good to see him sooner than later to get him started and try to get him ready for the season."
The speedy Fowler, 23, came to the A's in the Sonny Gray deal and is expected to be their starting center fielder on Opening Day.
"He looks really smooth," Melvin said. "Now, it's different in games, but just athletically looks like the type of guy that we were expecting."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.