SEATTLE -- Andrew Bailey is looking a bit more cheerful these days, and for good reason.
The A's closer threw from a distance of 120 feet on Wednesday morning and proceeded to walk back into the clubhouse with his arms up in the air and a smile attached to his face.
"It went really well," Bailey said, even before being asked. "[It] felt really good."
The A's have an off-day in Minnesota on Thursday, so the righty said he'll likely just play light catch, if anything, before moving to a distance of 140 feet on Friday. If all continues to go well, Bailey could soon be seeing rehab action off the mound soon.
"It's still a day-to-day thing with him," manager Bob Geren said. "Everything depends on how he feels every day, and right now there's no exact date for when he'll throw off the mound. We're flexible with him."
Bailey, sidelined since July 20, has watched Craig Breslow and Michael Wuertz lead bullpen duties in his stead. Breslow has allowed three earned runs through four innings of work in the month of August following a July that saw him compile a 2.84 ERA over 12 appearances. However, Geren said Wednesday he isn't too worried about his lefty, who is tied for second in the American League for most appearances (54).
Wuertz, meanwhile, has not allowed an earned run in 16 of his past 18 appearances, posting a 1.88 ERA along the way.
Sheets' road back grows longer
SEATTLE -- Ben Sheets was already facing a lengthy road back to the Majors following a flexor tendon operation on Monday, but it turns out that journey will be elongated even more, with news that Tommy John surgery was also involved.
Via team head athletic trainer Steve Sayles, A's manager Bob Geren reported on Tuesday that Sheets underwent repairs to his flexor tendon, pronator tendon and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). However, it wasn't until Wednesday morning that an A's spokesperson confirmed the UCL was actually replaced, as is the standard procedure with Tommy John surgeries.
Sheets had figured to miss at least a year's worth of action, but Wednesday's news means the right-hander could be in recovery mode closer to 16-18 months. Furthermore, the healing process will be that much more complicated, thus raising a big question mark surrounding his return to the Majors.
Sheets will be a free agent at season's end and, even though he wouldn't commit to continuing his playing career last week, he expressed an interest then in undergoing Monday's elbow surgery -- his second in two years -- to give him options.
The 32-year-old righty went 4-9 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 starts for Oakland and, in a combined nine seasons with the Brewers and A's, he is 90-92 with a 3.79 career mark.
Jackson takes another step toward return
SEATTLE -- Conor Jackson, stationed in Arizona since the start of the All-Star Break, will finally be on the move on Wednesday when he heads to Inland Empire to continue his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Stockton.
Jackson, nursing a strained right hamstring, will play seven innings in left field for the Ports, thus signaling a return to Oakland sooner rather than later. In a combined eight innings with the Athletics' Arizona Rookie League club, he went 0-for-7 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
Adam Rosales, who has been battling ankle tendinitis this week, left Wednesday's game in the second inning after aggravating the injury. After the game, manager Bob Geren said the club is "still assessing where he is." Rosales, who was replaced by Cliff Pennington at shortstop, will be evaluated on the team's off-day on Thursday in Minnesota. ... Mark Ellis' second-inning stolen base represented the ninth stolen base by an A's player in the last nine games. ... Coco Crisp went 1-for-4 on Wednesday and is now the owner of a five-game hitting streak, during which he's put together a .474 (9-for-19) mark.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.