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Norris to test toe with Triple-A rehab stint

OAKLAND -- Derek Norris is slated to play three games with Triple-A Sacramento beginning Saturday, and if all goes well, he could rejoin the A's on Thursday as he continues to recover from a fractured left big toe incurred last week.

Running, cutting, swinging and squatting, Norris said, do not cause him trouble. He took batting practice before Friday's series opener against the Rays and said the only movement that truly causes him pain is running at full speed.

"For some reason, God gave me the ability to have a high pain tolerance," Norris said. "It might feel worse to somebody else than it does to me. I don't know. I love this game too much to sit out any longer, especially with everything the team's going through and the playoff push."

Oakland's right-handed-hitting catcher hopes to start behind the plate Saturday, play as the designated hitter Sunday and catch in the River Cats' last game of the season Monday.

While his toe isn't fully healed, Norris said the pain is manageable, especially considering the A's position in the American League standings and recent stretch that has also seen fellow catcher John Jaso miss an extended amount of time because of a concussion.

Rosters will have expanded by the time Norris' 15-day stint on the disabled list is up, which could result in the A's having four catchers on the roster, including a platoon with recent acquisition Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt.

"It's an exciting time and I feel like I'm an important piece to the puzzle, that I can contribute to this team and add success to this team," Norris said. "I'm not trying to rush anything. I'm also trying to look out for myself because it's important for me to come back healthy, which I'm trying to do and feel like I am doing."

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for
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