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05/07/09 3:54 PM ET

Chavez, Casilla on the mend

Third baseman, reliever both targeting mid-May return

OAKLAND -- The A's super-sized injury list might be getting a little smaller sometime soon.

Third baseman Eric Chavez said his strained right forearm is feeling much better, and that he's targeting May 14 for his return -- four days after he's eligible to come off the DL -- when the A's begin a road trip in Detroit.

Relief pitcher Santiago Casilla, meanwhile, threw on the sideline before Thursday's game, testing his sprained right knee. After Casilla's session, pitching coach Curt Young signaled thumbs-up to manager Bob Geren.

Casilla, eligible to be activated on May 14, is now ticketed for a probable rehab appearance or two at Triple-A Sacramento.

"Barring any setbacks, he should be fine, because it wasn't an arm issue at all," Geren said. "As long as his legs are OK."

Geren said Casilla will probably make his first appearance for Sacramento on either Saturday or Sunday and pitch one inning, most likely as a starter.

Chavez initially experienced pain in his right elbow. As it turns out, the problem has more to do with his surgically repaired right shoulder.

"We're just letting the shoulder calm down," Chavez said. "Some of the nerves running through the neck. A nerve got pinched somewhere and was giving me symptoms down in my fingers and my forearm, and those symptoms seem to be really calming down, especially in the last three days."

Chavez said he expects to take ground balls, throw and "hopefully" hit in the cage on Friday.

"I'm feeling a lot better," Chavez said. "I'm hoping to make that road trip. If they have other plans for me to push me back, that's what I'll do, but I've got my heart set on that road trip."

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.