6:22pm: Talking to MLB.com's Mychael Urban, Chavez clarified his injury situation:
"I just want to make sure everyone's clear: I'm not getting surgery. I'm rehabbing. I hope to be back when I'm eligible, and if I hurt my back again after I come back, I'm still not getting surgery. I'll rehab it again."
He explained that a spinal fusion would be something he'll have when he's 45 or 50.
9:44am: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has the latest details on the health of A's third baseman Eric Chavez. While Chavez hopes to join the team soon, his career will be over if the herniated disk in his back goes out. In that case he'd need a career-ending spinal fusion procedure. Since the disk can go out with as little as a sneeze, Slusser says "his future in baseball will be operating on a very thin line."
Chavez's six-year, $66MM extension was signed in March of 2004. He's owed an additional $8.6MM this year plus $12MM in 2010 and a $3MM buyout for 2011, for a total of $23.6MM left on the contract. Sadly the contract has been a sunk cost for a while now. As Slusser says, A's GM Billy Beane figures to be on the lookout for third base prospects in trades.