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3B Inge hopes to be back with A's in 2013

Associated Press Modified: September 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm •  Published: September 2, 2012
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Third baseman Brandon Inge hopes to be back with the Oakland Athletics in 2013 after shoulder surgery.

Inge will have season-ending surgery on his dislocated right shoulder in about a week after re-injuring it Saturday night against Boston. He plans to see Dr. Stephen Lemos in Michigan for the procedure after Lemos also operated on his knees. Until then, Inge will be available to pinch-hit off the bench. The shoulder doesn't hurt him batting, but he is "in excruciating pain" when throwing.

"If I hadn't been through it with my left shoulder exactly the same way as this one, I wouldn't know, but I had a great idea on what this one was," Inge said Sunday. "Once it comes out once, you may be safe and it might never come out again, but once it comes out twice, three times, four times, you're in trouble. The only saving grace I had is it didn't come out swinging and I didn't feel it swinging."

Inge estimates he has dislocated his shoulders at least 20 times, the right side now on four occasions. He plans to rejoin the A's to rehab with the team post-operation — he's having too much fun watching the AL wild-card leaders to stay away.

"It wouldn't have been fair to try to tough out something that I know was a losing battle. I already had it in my mind what was going on," Inge said.

Inge spoke with manager Bob Melvin and told him he would do whatever he could to help the rest of the way, even if it's not on the field.

"It's a loss when he has the surgery. For now, until he has it, he's still an option to pinch-hit off the bench," Melvin said. "I think he's kind of discussing timing and so forth, if and when he does have it."

Inge hopes that as teams consider him for next season — he expects to be ready to go by the start of spring training — they will take into account the "heart" he brings to both the clubhouse and the lineup. He definitely made an impression in the East Bay with Oakland.

Inge is batting .218 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 83 games, 74 since joining the A's on April 30 after the Tigers cut him. He was acquired to help fill a big void after Oakland lost Scott Sizemore at the start of spring training to a season-ending knee injury that required surgery.

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