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Athletics' Closer Grant Balfour Will Be Just Fine for Opening Day

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Grant Balfour #50 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after the Athletics defeats the Detroit Tigers 2 to 0 in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 19, 2013

Ever since the news first came out that Grant Balfour would have surgery that would deactivate him for four to six weeks, it has been all good news for Balfour and his rehab.

First, he was back on his feet and walking around the A's clubhouse within 24 hours of going under the knife.  

Then the news came out that just five days after his surgery that he was trowing at the A's spring training complex in Arizona with the rest of the pitchers as if it were business as usual.

When the timetable was first reported to be four to six weeks, there was reason to be concerned about the closer's health come April 1 when the A's host the Seattle Mariners to begin the 2013 MLB regular season.

However, since the surgery took place, the "Mad Aussie" has been reminding the baseball world about just how tough he really is and how much he wants to play ball.

As if he didn't show enough passion for the game in the 2012 regular season finale when he forced his way into the game despite a massive lead, Balfour is showing even more passion and desire to pitch now after his surgery.

If Balfour is showing this much heart and working this hard so early in the spring, then there is no way, barring a setback during his rehab, that Balfour will not be in the A's bullpen on opening night.

I expect to see "Balfour Rage" at full strength by April 1.

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