OAKLAND -- Just three days after undergoing surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear, Stephen Piscotty is ready to return to action.
The A's outfielder was not in Sunday's starting lineup but was be available off the bench and said he expects to start Monday's game against the Orioles.
"I'm feeling good," Piscotty said before Oakland's series finale against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. "My ear is a little bit sore, but it's gotten better every day. I'm back to feeling like myself. I took a few swings, ran around a little bit and got the heart rate up, and I feel good. ... I feel like I'm ready."
The melanoma was discovered earlier this month following a routine spot check. Plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Parrett of the California Pacific Medical Campus was able to remove the melanoma in its entirety.
"I was definitely a little spooked," Piscotty admitted. "When you hear the word 'cancer,' it's not something you want to hear. But that being said, it was the best-case scenario. It was (caught) super early. I feel like I'm in good hands. I'll get the all clear (in a pathology report) on Tuesday, so fingers crossed for that. Hopefully, that comes out good and I don't have to worry about it."
Piscotty will wear a double-flap helmet to protect the stitches in his ear, which won't come out until Thursday. But he has received the go-ahead to play in the meantime.
"Thankfully it's on the ear," he said. "It's not on a part of my body that's moving and I could risk tearing. It's a stationary part of the body. ... I think as a whole, it's a pretty safe area as far as that's concerned, so I'm not too worried about it and neither were the doctors and surgeon."
Piscotty emphasizes the importance of wearing sunscreen and getting routine spot checks, especially for those who spend a lot of time in the sun.
"We're in the sun a lot. I've got a lot of moles as it is and I've been told for years to go get it checked. I finally listened and I'm glad I did when I did. I'm very grateful that they caught it early."