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A’s injuries: Kevin Smith out, James Kaprielian continues rehab

One new injury, and progress on an old one

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

There’s good news and bad news on the Oakland A’s injury front Tuesday. One player continues progress toward a return, but in the meantime another has gone down.

Infielder Kevin Smith was in a walking boot before tonight’s game, reports team insider Martin Gallegos. His leg is still under evaluation and it’s not yet clear whether he’ll need a stint on the injured list, adds Gallegos.

During the game Monday, Smith took a tumble as he crossed first base on a play in the 6th inning. He hustled down the line to beat the throw, and at the last moment attempted a late feet-first slide, slamming into the bag and briefly losing his balance as he popped up. He stayed in for the rest of the game, but now he’s out tonight, and Gallegos mentioned the play in his tweet about the walking boot. (See photo at the top of this article.)

Smith appeared in each of the A’s first 11 games this year, mostly at third base, and to fill his absence this evening Sheldon Neuse will man the hot corner and top prospect Nick Allen will make his MLB debut at second base.

Kaprielian rehab

On the pitching side of the roster, a member of last year’s starting rotation is ready for the next step toward returning.

Right-hander James Kaprielian will make his second rehab start on Wednesday, and it’ll be for Triple-A Las Vegas, reports Gallegos.

Kaprielian missed spring training due to shoulder irritation, and that delay forced him to begin the season on the 10-day IL. But he got back on the mound for his first rehab start last Friday, tossing five strong innings for Low-A Stockton, and now he’s got the green light for his next appearance.

There’s no timetable for precisely how many rehab outings Kaprielian will need before getting back to Oakland, but at least he’s healthy and pitching and moving up the ladder toward the majors.

Injury report