OAKLAND -- Although his season is a lost cause, Ben Sheets is still sticking around his teammates in the clubhouse. On Monday, Sheets told reporters he will undergo surgery next week to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, before he went out to the field to stretch and shag balls during batting practice.
Sheets was in good spirits and said he will approach the surgery "very cautiously," as he underwent similar elbow surgery prior to the 2009 season and it wiped out the whole campaign.
"It won't be the same, it will be slightly different," Sheets said. "But I ain't medical enough to talk in terms."
Sheets hasn't pitched since July 19 and said he doesn't expect to be available for Spring Training in 2011.
"It will be a significantly long time again," Sheets said. "Probably about 12 months, I think, then I'll be back dominating."
Sheets signed a one-year, $10 million dollar deal with the A's shortly after a private workout in Louisiana in January. There's no denying Sheets has been a positive veteran presence that keeps the clubhouse loose, but he never consistently looked like the Sheets of old, he of four All-Star appearances in eight seasons with Milwaukee.
Sheets' 4-9 mark is a career-worst, while his 4.53 ERA will be his highest since posting a 4.76 in his 2001 rookie season.
"Ben wants to be here with his teammates before he has his surgery, so we obviously welcome it," manager Bob Geren said. "Everyone enjoys having him around and it's nice to see a guy that has that kind of connection with everybody."
Bonser ready to be A's long reliever
OAKLAND -- Since the A's promoted right-hander Boof Bonser from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, they haven't needed a long relief man. In fact, they haven't needed a reliever at all, as Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez have tossed consecutive complete games.
But when the time calls, the 28-year-old Bonser said he's comfortable with performing in a long relief role.
"It's no problem," Bonser said. "It was the same role I had in Minnesota and I was going to have the same role in Boston, too, so it's not a problem."
Bonser debuted with the Twins in 2006 and made 18 starts before making another 30 with the team in '07. But after two months with Minnesota's rotation in '08, Bonser was sent to the bullpen for the rest of the season. Bonser then missed all of '09 after having surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff during Spring Training.
"My shoulder's fine now," Bonser said. "I've been getting my innings in, so I haven't had any problems with my shoulder."
Bonser made two relief appearances with the Red Sox in June with mixed results: He allowed four earned runs without getting a batter out on June 9, before throwing two scoreless innings on June 11.
Of his 42 pitches thrown with Boston this season, none were changeups, but Bonser said it was a result of the situations. Bonser's velocity was also up to an average of 93 mph with Boston, about 1-2 mph faster than he averaged with Minnesota.
"I don't feel like [I'm throwing any harder]," Bonser said. "But I haven't radar-checked in a little while."
As far as the A's clubhouse goes, Bonser said he's happy to be back in the big leagues again.
"It's a good group of guys," Bonser said. "Everybody's awesome here and they just like to have fun and play the game. You can't ask for anything more than that."
Bailey could be out until Saturday
OAKLAND -- A's closer Andrew Bailey, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a rib muscle strain, will be out of commission for the three-game set with the Royals and likely unavailable until Saturday at the earliest.
"He's reported feeling better, but he hasn't done much yet," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's not going to throw for at least a few more days and we'll go from there."
Bailey hasn't pitched since experiencing pain while throwing two innings on July 20.
Geren also said there are no significant developments with injured outfielder Conor Jackson, who is in Arizona rehabbing his right hamstring. Jackson hasn't played since June 30, but is starting to "step up" his running and has been able to throw and hit without problems.
Geren said he hasn't received a doctor's report on Ryan Sweeney, who underwent season-ending surgery on his right knee Friday. Geren said he did talk to Sweeney via text and that the 25-year-old "is feeling good and everything went well."
Chris Carter, one of the A's top prospects at Triple-A Sacramento, has started five of the past six contests in left field after playing almost exclusively at first base to start the season. Entering play Monday, Carter had a .254 average with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs. ... The Oakland press box was filled with a Hollywood film crew and equipment on Monday, as the movie "Moneyball" continues to be filmed at the Oakland Coliseum.
Alex Espinoza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.