A’s C Sean Murphy sidelined after surgery for collapsed lung

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy will be sidelined for several weeks with a collapsed lung that required surgery but is expected to be fine and fully recovered by opening day.

“I don’t think he liked the idea of just sort of being out there in the world not knowing if this was going to happen again, so he got the surgery done, took care of it and it’s only going to set him back a few weeks,” general manager David Forst said Wednesday following the team’s first spring training workout for pitchers and catchers.

“It’s one of those things that popped up. We’re glad he got it taken care of, got the surgery done.”

The 26-year-old Murphy woke up a few weeks ago with the spontaneous issue, according to Forst — perhaps caused from a strong coughing episode while sleeping.

“It’s kind of a freak thing,” Forst said, noting Murphy chose to go to the emergency room when he didn’t feel right.

He will drive to Arizona in the coming days to join the team with the hopes of resuming baseball activities around March 1 then playing Cactus League games by mid-month.

“The prognosis as we sit here sounds good,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Our training staff believes we’ll get him here in time in spring at some point, obviously a little bit delayed, but the timetable is for him to be ready for opening day. It sounds pretty dramatic and it certainly did to me as well, but they think the procedure went well and the prognosis is good.”

Murphy appeared in 43 games for Oakland during the shortened 60-game 2020 season, batting .233 with seven homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs with 39 starts behind the plate.

Also out for Oakland as the club began spring training in Mesa, Arizona, is right-hander Frankie Montas, quarantined at home in Scottsdale with the coronavirus. Melvin said Montas is “several days into it.” The team’s 2020 opening day starter tested positive prior to reporting day, Forst said.

“As we sit here today, I don’t think there’s any concern about him being ready for opening day,” Forst said.

Notes: LHP A.J. Puk, who missed all of last season because of a strained pitching shoulder before having surgery in September, threw his first bullpen session, and Melvin said his delivery was “free and easy.” “I think surgery really did a lot for him,” Melvin said. While Puk will be built up as a starter, he may pitch out of the bullpen initially — all the options are still under discussion.

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