ANAHEIM -- A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy continues to show progress in his recovery from brain surgery.
Monday brought another milestone as McCarthy walked down a hallway and climbed four steps at the Bay Area hospital where he has been since Wednesday when he had an operation to remove an epidural hematoma near his brain after being struck by a batted ball.
He has been transferred from intensive care to the transitional care unit, which is closer to a regular hospital room.
A's head trainer Nick Paparesta said McCarthy seems to be past the critical stage where doctors warned that patients could have relapses after the surgery, and that McCarthy could be heading home "soon," though he didn't give a date.
"I think we're a little more comfortable with where he is and how he's doing," Paparesta said. "He's had the opportunity to spend some time on the phone and text some of his teammates back and forth a little bit. Some people have gone to visit him that have come back and told me he's like his old self."
McCarthy's wife, Amanda, tweeted Sunday that A's pitcher Andrew Carignan dropped by the hospital.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar hit the line drive that struck McCarthy on the right side of his head. Aybar said before Monday's opener of an A's-Angels series in Anaheim that he exchanged text messages with Amanda two days ago and that he's relieved that McCarthy is doing better.
"It's been difficult," Aybar said. "I