PHOENIX -- The A's hope to have their closer back in less than a week.

Right-hander Grant Balfour, who underwent minor knee surgery on Feb. 14, threw to hitters for the first time since his operation on Tuesday and is gearing up to make his Cactus League debut by Monday.

Balfour had been engaged in bullpen sessions over the last week, but it wasn't until this week he was cleared to begin running again. That's the final step in his rehab process.

It's one that typically lasts from four to six weeks, putting Balfour on the shorter end of that spectrum, as the gritty reliever anticipated.

Balfour will likely have two weeks of exhibition action to prepare for the regular season.

Worth noting

• A's reliever Fernando Rodriguez, who exited Monday's game prematurely because of elbow tightness, was scheduled to undergo an MRI and see a local doctor on Tuesday to gather more information. Results of his MRI were not readily available by Tuesday evening.

• As expected, second baseman Jemile Weeks (right shoulder) received a day off Tuesday. He'll play another five innings in a Minor League game on Wednesday, as he did Monday, and is expected to rejoin the A's lineup for the first time in two weeks as early as Thursday.

• Oakland's relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Tuesday's win over the Royals. Right-handers Pat Neshek and Chris Resop were among those to deliver a scoreless inning, and both have kept their ERA at zero this spring through five appearances.

• A's lefty Brett Anderson, who suffered an injury to the non-throwing side of his neck/back on Sunday, is still on target to make his next scheduled start, despite his Tuesday bullpen session being pushed back, A's manager Bob Melvin said.