A’s top prospect Puk’s tests come back clean


Additional tests on the ailing shoulder of prized young Athletics left-hander A.J. Puk revealed no structural damage, Oakland manager Bob Melvin told reporters Thursday.

Puk, the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft, had visited renowned orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache this week after feeling some mild discomfort in the shoulder.

He will remain sidelined for a few days, but the A’s considered the results of Puk’s tests good news.

“We’ll probably do a few more days of strengthening before we get him back playing catch again,” Melvin told reporters.

Puk, 24, had Tommy John surgery two years ago after feeling arm discomfort that spring. He pitched 11⅓ innings in 10 relief appearances with 13 strikeouts, five walks and a 3.18 ERA upon returning last season and is projected to be in Oakland’s rotation this year.

Puk had thrown into the mid-90-mph range during a two-inning, 23-pitch scoreless outing against Colorado in a 5-2 win last Thursday, but he hasn’t pitched since.

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has Puk rated as the No. 20 prospect in the majors entering the season.

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