Giants Hope Sandoval Returns Tuesday

It's crazy to think about what's gone down with Pablo Sandoval since he suffered a hamate bone injury in late April/early May. First he had surgery, then he had legal issues, then he had weight problems and then he might be out of gig at third base.

So it's nice to hear that he'll be getting back on the field soon and hopefully putting most of that behind him. According to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, Panda is scheduled to return next Tuesday.

"We're hoping he'll be ready then," Bochy said, per Chris Haft of

That's the general timeframe for his return, but he could come back earlier depending on what happens with the rest of the Giants personnel in the meantime.

"In emergency or something, we could call him up earlier," Bochy said.

Bochy also said he "really hadn't thought about" how Sandoval's off-field issues would affect his on-field play, and that the Giants would "continue to" monitor Sandoval's physical fitness.

The timing of Tuesday is quite interesting from a managerial perspective, though. The Giants start a three-game series against the Astros at AT&T beginning on Tuesday, but then head out on the road for nine-straight interleague games.

Which means, of course, that the Giants will need a designated hitter for well over a week. Given the way that Joaquin Arias has played at third base, and the impressive early returns from Ryan Theriot at second, Bochy would have the ability to utilize Panda as the DH if he's not in perfect shape and/or struggles defensively early on.

At the very least, it'll equate to additional lineup flexibility and the ability to ease Panda back in.

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