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Athletics lose pitcher Anderson for the year

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

DETROIT -- Brett Anderson underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery 14 months ago. He fought back, rehabbed, and gave the Athletics' rotation a huge boost shortly after Bartolo Colon was suspended and while Brandon McCarthy has been sidelined with a head injury.

But after straining his right oblique here Wednesday night, Anderson's season is finished.

"We've had to go through some issues this year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of losing the one non-rookie in his rotation. "We're battle-tested, as far as that goes.

"We got a great month out of him. He has ace-type stuff. It hurts to lose a guy like that, but we've lost three starting pitchers and we just move on."

Anderson, 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA over 35 innings pitched in six starts this year, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain.

The left-hander's hope is that while he will not pitch any more over the next two weeks, maybe he can grab some rope in the postseason. Of course, first Oakland has to get there.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Anderson, 24, said. "You have to deal with it sometimes. I will deal with the process and get healthy and [try to] help the team in the postseason.

"It would be a good story if I could come back and help this team in a play-in game."

No question about that. Anderson underwent elbow surgery last July 14, cutting his 2011 season short after 13 starts.

Now, his oblique goes.

Realistically, it is doubtful that he can even pitch in the poseason as soon as the wild-card game, which, if Oakland qualifies, is scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 5. But in this crazy A's season, who knows who quickly Anderson can heal and how deep Oakland might go into October.

"You've got to be optimistic about it," Anderson said. "I've never been in the postseason. I've never played in meaningful games in September.

"It would be a good story."

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