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Oakland A’s injury update: Jharel Cotton undergoes surgery on hamstring

A setback as the right-hander works back from 2018 Tommy John surgery.

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Oakland A’s pitcher Jharel Cotton had surgery on his hamstring, the team announced Thursday. The press release offers the following details:

Cotton had successful right hamstring debridement surgery today, performed by Dr. Daniel Cooper at the North Central Surgical Center in Dallas, TX. Dr. Cooper, who is the Head Physician for the Dallas Cowboys, was very pleased with the outcome.

Jharel will remain in Dallas until next week for his follow-up appointment before returning to Oakland to continue his rehabilitation.

No timetable has yet been announced for Cotton’s return. “Debridement” is a term for the removal of damaged tissue and/or foreign material in order to promote healing of the surrounding area (and/or to eliminate the impediment of said healing).

(Update: Indeed, the operation “was essentially to remove a torn tendon and allow the hamstring to work properly,” reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. The surgery was optional, reports insider Martin Gallegos, and the team thinks he will pitch again this season.)

Cotton underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2018, and he had finally returned to the mound in mid-May. He made three rehab appearances for High-A Stockton and threw seven innings with eight strikeouts, one walk, and three homers. He last pitched for Stockton on May 28, before being shut down due to the hamstring issue.

Before this latest setback, the word had been that the right-hander, who is normally a starter, would likely pitch out of the bullpen if/when he returned to Oakland this season, as a way to manage his limited innings.

Analysis: Setbacks are common during recovery from TJS, and this is Cotton’s first one, so the news is a bummer but not outside the realm of normalcy. The bright side is that it doesn’t appear to directly involve his arm.

Manaea throws BP

Here’s the latest update on Sean Manaea, who is recovering from shoulder surgery last September. Slusser reports: “Sean Manaea threw 15 pitches of live batting practice at Stockton [on Tuesday] and came out of it feeling great, a big step for him. Will do it again, [with a higher pitch count], soon.”

While that is great news, it does come with one small imperfection.

Analysis: Noooooo. Is this the mythical “sprained beard”? The chops were so perfect on him. Hopefully, much like Wolverine’s body, they can eventually regenerate — I checked the medical journals, as well as a mirror, and they say facial hair can be regrown even after being shaved off.

Other notes

Two more notes:

  • Brett Anderson (oblique) is on track to make his next start,” reports Slusser. The left-hander exited his last start in the sixth inning as a precaution, though at the time he didn’t sound worried about it long-term.
  • Marco Estrada will start playing catch on Monday for the first time since going on the IL with his back injury. Getting close to starting a regular throwing program,” reports Gallegos. The right-hander went on the injured list on April 17 due to a lumbar strain in his back.

Best of luck to all the injured A’s in their recoveries!