Manager Bob Melvin said that the only issue with Grant Balfour's recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery is the fear the A's closer will try to do too much.

"I saw him trying to sneak into a drill the other day," Melvin said. "It's more trying to keep him out of things."

Balfour actually took a significant step forward in his return Monday, doing flat-ground work for the first time since the procedure for a torn meniscus in his right knee 11 days earlier. Balfour said he threw 25 pitches, and used all his pitches. "I was throwing the kitchen sink," he said.

Balfour said he will throw at least one more flat-ground session, and depending on how he progresses, it's possible he'll be throwing off the mound toward the end of the week. All must be well, though; despite Melvin's joking, Balfour is cognizant he must not push things.