OAKLAND -- Brandon McCarthy won't pitch again this season, but he said Friday night that just being cleared to be in the dugout for the A's final home stand of the season will do wonders for his psyche, and hopefully for the psyches of his teammates.
"It's going to be really nice, one to cure the boredom from the last couple of weeks, but also to get back around the guys and the atmosphere again," McCarthy said in his first meeting with the Bay Area media since being hit in the head with a line drive on Sept. 5, an incident which subsequently resulted in surgery.
McCarthy made a brief visit to the clubhouse during the A's last home series against Baltimore, but only stayed long enough to talk to teammates. He couldn't stay for the game. Now he has full clearance to be with the team as it tries to make the American League playoffs.
"Being in the clubhouse was nice, but it was still kind of limited as to how long I could stay there and the doctors were kicking me out," he said. "Now I can be in the dugout and be around and see a game atmosphere again. I think it's kind of what I need to get my mind off everything and get back to doing stuff and having some mental stimulation again."
McCarthy said he can begin limited physical activity and added that he may play catch Saturday before the game.
"I'll ride a bike a little bit today, and within a week, I can start exerting myself a little bit more -- it's usually four weeks after (surgery) you can start moving a little bit. I'm starting to go into atrophy here and boredom, so I have to do something physically to get the blood flowing again."
In the offseason, McCarthy said stepping up his physical activity will depend on concussion syndrome, headaches or dizziness, but he fully expects to be ready to go for spring training next year.
Since McCarthy is a free agent, that might not be with the A's, but the pitcher said he would be very interested in returning to Oakland.