The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Surgery for Panda, Hopeful of Four-Week Return

Pablo Sandoval is headed for surgery on his left hamate bone, and the Giants are hopeful that he'll only miss four weeks.

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    If you're a Giants fan, you're likely aware that the recovery time for a fractured hamate bone is approximately four-to-six weeks. You know this because Pablo Sandoval's already recovered from one of these.

    The Giants are hoping this time around Panda's recovery time is closer to four weeks and while the team  currently playing their first game without their starting third baseman this season (follow the action live right here), Panda is preparing for surgery on Friday.

    "Well, I guess the good news is both of them will be gone tomorrow," trainer Dave Groeschner said, per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, when discussing Sandoval's second hamate bone. "So he can't do it again."

    It's obviously a tough loss for the Giants -- we detailed Sandoval's stats through 24 games this season, and they're not just reminiscent of his stats from 2011. They're also quite good.

    "You just don't replace a bat like Pablo's," Bruce Bochy said. "He was on the All-Star team last year. There's few people who can do what he can with the bat."

    The Giants are hopeful that this recovery will be quicker, since it's not Sandoval's throwing hand that's injured. And the third baseman could also bat primarily left-handed when he returns. Sandoval was also optimistic on Thursday, tweeting out a message to fans.

    "To all my fans; I will like to thank you guys for all the good wishes, this is a hard moment in my career, but I know that with God blessing this will benefit me, to perform better for you guys," Sandoval tweeted. "Thanks for all the support I will be back soon and the the #PANDAMODE WILL ALWAYS BE ON NO MATTER WHAT. Thanks --- Support the team everyone."

    Sandoval currently ranks third among NL third basemen in batting average, home runs and OPS, and second in RBI and doubles.

    And because there are so many similarities between his stats from this year and last year, the scene at the ballpark is, according to CSNBayArea.com's Jaymee Sire, quite reminiscent of Groundhog Day.

    Hopefully Sandoval's recovery this time around will make everyone forget the 41 games he missed last year.