A's ace Sonny Gray (back) hopes to start Monday

BALTIMORE -- Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray could return from a nagging back injury as soon as Monday.

The right-hander was scratched from his scheduled start against Toronto on Thursday after experiencing back spasms Wednesday.

Trainers treated him with muscle relaxants and a massage. On Thursday, he reported no pain after throwing for five minutes from 75 feet.

Before the A's faced the Orioles on Friday, Gray said, "Thankfully, it's really kind of progressing better and better. I threw, and it really couldn't have went any better."

Gray is 12-4 with a 2.06 ERA.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Gray will throw a bullpen session Saturday, and has ruled out the possibility of the disabled list.

"If everything feels good," Melvin said, "then we'll pick a date for him. The earliest would be Monday."

Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.