MLB San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval on Verge of Returning to Lineup

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval on Verge of Returning to Lineup

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is on the verge of returning to the lineup, and in all likelihood will be ready to go on Opening Day.

Sandoval has been recovering from an irritated nerve in his elbow that he suffered a couple weeks ago. He has not been able to do anything but rest to prepare himself for the 2013 Major League Baseball season.

The 26-year old was able to swing from both sides of the plate on Wednesday when he underwent an evaluation with San Francisco’s head athletic trainer. He also was able to play catch without any problems, something the Giants were hoping he was going to be able to do in the later part of this week.

San Francisco will have to re-evaluate Sandoval Thursday to see how his elbow held up overnight. If everything looks up to speed, Sandoval will most likely appear in Friday’s game against the Oakland Athletics to see if he can handle a couple Major League at-bats.

However, the Giants will only risk putting him in the lineup if they believe he is ready. The organization does not intend to re-injure his elbow just a few days before the start of the regular season.

If all goes well, the switch-hitter should be able to suit up on Opening Day when San Francisco takes on the Los Angeles Dodgers in an opening series that should not disappoint. Even though it is only the first series of the season, it is still a critical matchup that both teams will want to win desperately.

For all we know, the National League West could come down to a couple games, and many will look at this series as being the difference.

Michael Terrill is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelTerrill, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.