MINNEAPOLIS -- Coco Crisp was forced to miss the first month of the season as a result of a fractured left pinkie finger, and the A's outfielder may have to sit out the final two weeks due to the same injury.
Crisp fractured the left finger again in the sixth inning of Saturday's 4-2 loss against the Twins, when he slid into third base while also being tagged out after coming around from first on a throwing error by pitcher Kevin Slowey.
He managed to stay in the game, and manager Bob Geren said on Sunday morning that Crisp will see a hand specialist in the Bay Area on Monday to determine if he can continue playing with the fracture.
"We'll know in the next day or two where he stands," Geren said. "Right now it's just sore, and he's day to day."
The 30-year-old Crisp was sidelined from April 3 to May 20 with the first fracture, which occurred when he was tagged by San Francisco's Juan Uribe while sliding into second base in an exhibition game with the Giants.
His indefinite absence will allow a handful of outfielders the opportunity to receive playing time. On Sunday, Geren placed Rajai Davis in center, with Chris Carter in left and Matt Carson receiving the start in right field.
Davis is likely to stay in center for the time being, and Geren has plenty other options on the corners, including Gabe Gross, Jeff Larish and Jack Cust.
Crisp was batting .316 with five homers, 20 RBIs, 26 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in his last 39 games, representing something of a sparkplug for a struggling A's offense.
"It's difficult to replace someone who's played as well as he has," Geren said. "There are good candidates to fill his spot, but I'm still hopeful he'll be able to play."
Surprised Donaldson in the lineup at DH
MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Donaldson's phone was rather active Sunday morning, and for good reason.
Donaldson took a peek at the lineup and surprisingly found his name in the designated hitter's slot, batting sixth against Minnesota's Francisco Liriano for the club's rubber match against the Twins.
The news had Donaldson sending out a handful of texts to family and friends, making them aware of his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday.
Donaldson made his Major League debut earlier in the season when catcher Kurt Suzuki went down with an injury. During his two-week stint with the A's beginning April 30, he collected his first Major League hit -- a home run in Toronto -- and went 4-for-26 in 10 games, including seven starts. Five of them came behind the plate, while two were in the DH spot.
While Donaldson's offensive numbers weren't exactly impressive, he said he took a good lesson from his initial experience in the big leagues.
"I struggled a little bit when I was first here," he said on Sunday. "I was trying to rush things too much, swinging at bad pitches and not letting them come to me. Having been here awhile and not playing, I've just been able to hang out with the guys and watch the games. That's allowed me to slow everything down.
"When you're able to slow the game down, you usually have more success. Having been here showed me I can play at that next level. I'm just going to try to stay focused on every at-bat."
Donaldson endured his own injury with Sacramento following his brief stay with Oakland, as he remained on the disabled list with a sprained right knee from Aug. 4 to Sept. 2. Still, he was able to finish the season with a career-high 18 home runs despite appearing in just 86 games. He also posted 67 RBIs while compiling a .238 average.
Donaldson, 24, is more than happy to be back with the big boys in green and gold. Making the return even more enjoyable is sharing the experience with a handful of players who also spent most of the year in Sacramento, including Chris Carter, Steve Tolleson and Eric Sogard.
"When I was here the first time," he said, "I saw a lot of familiar faces, but it was still a big adjustment getting to know everyone. It helps being more comfortable with the guys here.
"I haven't seen live pitching in a while, but [I'm] hoping a few of us River Cats can do some damage."
Kevin Kouzmanoff underwent full baseball activities for a third straight day on Sunday as he continues to rehab his lower back, which has kept him out of the lineup for 12 straight games. He took batting practice and fielded ground balls at third base. Geren, however, said there is still no timetable for his return. "He's still day to day," he said, "but he's getting closer." ... A couple of lineup regulars received the day off on Sunday, including Cliff Pennington and Jack Cust. Thus, Steve Tolleson got a start at shortstop while Josh Donaldson filled the DH role. ... The A's entered Sunday's rubber match having compiled a .213 batting average with 14 runs scored in five games on their current road trip. They're 5-for-31 (.161) with runners in scoring position.