SEATTLE -- A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy is making progress from brain surgery after being struck by a line drive, but team officials cautioned Friday that he is by no means out of the woods from a medical standpoint.
McCarthy got out of bed three times Friday and sat in a chair. He ate solid food and is able to speak. But A's head trainer Nick Paparesta stressed that McCarthy is still in a life-threatening state.
"Absolutely he is. He had brain surgery, it's life-threatening," Paparesta said. "At any possible moment something could go wrong. He could have a complication."
As the A's continue their postseason quest with a three-game series that began Friday night at Seattle, their thoughts are very much with McCarthy, 29, who was hit in the right side of his head by a line drive off the bat of the Los Angeles Angels' Erick Aybar on Wednesday.
He underwent surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain from a epidural hematoma -- a buildup of blood between the outer membrane of the brain and the skull.
Doctors told Paparesta that the first two to three days after such a procedure are the most critical, as swelling around the brain can recur. Right now, the A's are cautiously optimistic.
Rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker is particularly tight with McCarthy, who he said has helped his development tremendously this season. He's kept in touch with McCarthy's wife, Amanda, through text messages.
"Me and Mac,
Paparesta said the idea of when, or if, McCarthy returns to baseball takes a back seat for now to much more pressing concerns.
"We're worried about keeping him alive right now and making sure that everything functions the way it needs to be."