ARLINGTON -- Oakland manager Bob Geren on Tuesday deemed Justin Duchscherer the "leading candidate" to start Saturday's game in Anaheim.

That's good news for the right-hander, who received a cortisone shot last week for inflammation in his left hip, aggravation that surfaced at the beginning of the season and eventually led to Duchscherer's early exit from an April 29 start in Toronto.

Duchscherer was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 7, retroactive to April 30. He threw a bullpen session on Monday, before the club hopped on its charter flight to Texas, and Geren reported that the righty "is doing very well." He'll toss another bullpen session on Wednesday to officially determine his readiness for Saturday's nod against the Angels.

The veteran pitcher, who also missed a chunk of time during Spring Training due to lower back pain and, subsequently, a nerve ablation procedure, was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts for Oakland before exiting his last outing against the Blue Jays after just 3 1/3 innings.

The A's have had the luxury of sticking with a four-man rotation for the time being, thanks to an off-day Monday that took away the need for a fifth starter until Saturday. As a result, they've been lugging around nine relievers -- all of whom are well rested thanks to Dallas Braden's perfect game Sunday.

Ellis, Crisp to make rehab appearances

ARLINGTON -- A pair of A's players may soon begin keeping each other company on Minor League rehab assignments.

Mark Ellis (hamstring) and Coco Crisp (pinkie finger) are quickly making progress with their respective rehab programs -- so much so that manager Bob Geren thinks the two could be playing in Minor League games "within a week."

Ellis has been stationed at home in Phoenix, rehabbing a strained left hamstring, which kept the A's second baseman off the field from April 12-18 and since April 20, when he left a game after just five innings.

Crisp, meanwhile, has yet to make his debut in green and gold. Signed as a free agent in December to a one-year contract, Crisp was placed on the disabled list on April 3, with a fractured left pinkie finger.

The 30-year-old Crisp took 30 swings off a tee on Sunday and planned on hitting inside the cage Tuesday. The next step, he said, will be taking part in batting practice Wednesday. His Minor League assignment will likely span four days, and he hopes to be on the field by the end of the month.

Suzuki likely to be activated Wednesday

ARLINGTON -- In his first Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, A's catcher Kurt Suzuki proved he won't need another.

In five innings for the River Cats, Suzuki tallied a double and a home run, to go along with three runs and three RBIs. As a result, the club instructed Suzuki to immediately leave nearby Oklahoma City and join the team for Wednesday's contest against the Rangers.

The 26-year-old Suzuki was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career April 30 -- retroactive to April 24 -- with an intercostal strain. It marked the first time over the last three years he had gone more than two consecutive games without starting at catcher.

The club has not officially announced a roster move, but Suzuki is expected to be in Wednesday's starting lineup, manager Bob Geren said following the A's 13-inning 7-6 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday.