Sandoval is dealing with elbow issues

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 7:46 am

PEORIA, Ariz. – Of the injured Giants, manager Bruce Bochy considers Hector Sanchez the most uncertain to be fully healed by Opening Day.

But there's little doubt that Pablo Sandoval's health is the most vital for the Giants, and trainer Dave Groeschner revealed Tuesday that Sandoval has two issues with his right elbow.

Sandoval was pulled from Sunday's lineup because of an inflamed nerve, and he also has a bone spur that Groeschner described as a chronic problem.

Will the third baseman be ready to play against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1?

"Yeah – I hope so," Sandoval said. "I'm ready, but you need to take care of the elbow, too. I'm going to do my treatment."

The rehabilitation and rest will continue the rest of this week, and Sandoval will be re-evaluated over the weekend. Groeschner and Bochy said it is premature to be worried about Sandoval's availability for the season opener.

"I'm still confident he'll be ready," Bochy said. "Sure, it's a setback. But if all goes well, we'll have time to get him ready by Opening Day. Hopefully, this thing calms down by this weekend, and we'll get back to work."

Sandoval had an MRI on Monday and said the finger numbness that comes with his condition, ulnar neuritis, already has gone away. Groeschner doesn't believe the spur will require surgery at any point, adding that many players have dealt with that spur and Sandoval has known about it since 2009.

"We're making sure we get this thing calmed down," Groeschner said.

Sanchez, the backup catcher, will get at-bats as a designated hitter in a minor-league game today as he continues to work his way through shoulder soreness. The switch hitter took batting practice from the right side Tuesday but still feels pain when swinging from the left side. Sanchez is scheduled to test his shoulder by playing catch today, and Bochy said he hopes Sanchez can return to a game this weekend, the last of Cactus League action.

Tuesday night, the Giants lost 6-3 to the Seattle Mariners. Starter Barry Zito allowed five hits and two runs and struck out seven in five innings.

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