It looks like Rich Harden is on the mend and will be back to Spring Training. The right hander is expected to be cleared by the A’s organization sometime before early next week.
If you recall on Feb. 15, Harden was put on a two week hiatus due to stiffness in his right lat muscle underneath his pitching arm. He says that he is ready to come back and was quoted as saying, “”It’s coming along, I want to get out there, but it’s on the trainers. I’m 100 per cent pain-free.”
He will want to come back sooner than later due to the fact the he considered the front runner along with both Josh Outman and Brandon McCarthy to fill the coveted fifth-starter spot in the rotation.
Dallas Braden seems to also share that comeback quickly sort of attitude as well. Braden recently said that, “He has had that kind of a run of bad luck with little nagging injuries. I want him back sooner because if I’m going to be part of a rotation where Rich Harden is battling for the a fifth spot, with his front-line ability, I think our rotation is in pretty good shape. The team is in pretty good shape. That speaks volumes about our depth.”
It is worth noting that it has also not been easy for Harden because he has been so injury plagued in his career with not just the A’s but with the Rangers as well. In fact, he was cut from Texas because he suffered both a strained left gluteal muscle then not soon after that he was diagnosed with right shoulder tendinitis.
Harden has went full circle by returning back to the A’s this year and receiving a one year contract worth $1.5-million.
One thing in Harden mind is certain. He is willing to be patient, if the A’s decide to keep him off the field for one more week. He seems to be in agreement about playing the waiting game saying that, “you don’t want to go out there too early and set yourself back”. “At this point, you don’t need to do that.”