A's Melvin: Bassitt continuing to improve, 2021 return 'on his mind'

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Don't count Chris Bassitt out just yet.

Bassitt, who was hit in the head by a comebacker Tuesday, has already made significant progress in his recovery, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Friday. The right-hander's improvement has been so impressive that Melvin isn't closing the door on his returning to the mound later this year.

"You do have to plan (that he won't return)," Melvin said, according to Martin Gallegos of MLB.com. "But I don't think Chris thinks his season is over, by any stretch. Once he gets through the surgery, it is on his mind to get back this season."

Bassitt suffered a displaced tripod fracture in his right cheek and multiple lacerations from the liner hit by Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin. He was released from the hospital the following day, but he'll undergo surgery next week to repair the fractures.

The 32-year-old has been doing well since his discharge. He met his teammates at their Chicago hotel Thursday and gave them a pep talk before they beat the White Sox. Melvin also noted that the swelling in his face has gone down significantly.

"I saw pictures today and he made really good improvement, as far as how he looked," Melvin said. "The swelling on the side of the face. The eye was starting to open up more. If he continues to have progress like that, it expedites and speeds up the recovery time. It was great to see him look like he did today."

Bassitt, 32, was enjoying a breakout season prior to his injury. A first-time All-Star, he owns a career-best 1.05 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings while also leading the American League in wins (12), starts (25), and innings (151).

A's Melvin: Bassitt continuing to improve, 2021 return 'on his mind'
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