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Panik may be sidelined more than 6 weeks

Second baseman could rehab longer to guarantee strength; Cueto seeking second opinion
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik, sidelined by a sprained left thumb, intends to return to his role as the Giants' regular second baseman in six weeks. However, Panik admitted that he'd prefer to rehabilitate longer if it means guaranteeing his health.

"When I come back, it's going to be full-go," Panik said Wednesday morning.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik, sidelined by a sprained left thumb, intends to return to his role as the Giants' regular second baseman in six weeks. However, Panik admitted that he'd prefer to rehabilitate longer if it means guaranteeing his health.

"When I come back, it's going to be full-go," Panik said Wednesday morning.

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Panik had to suppress frustration as he spoke to reporters, which was entirely understandable. He has spent portions of each of his four full big league seasons on the disabled list. Panik sustained his latest injury when he and Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig bumped into each other during a pickoff play in last Friday's game.

"You work hard all offseason," Panik began, "and for this to happen ..."

Video: SD@SF: Cueto put on DL with right elbow inflammation

Cueto to seek 2nd opinion

Seeking complete accuracy, right-hander Johnny Cueto wants experts besides the Giants' medical staff to inspect the MRIs of his inflamed elbow.

Conveniently, the Giants' upcoming three-city trip begins in Atlanta, close to the clinics operated by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla.

Asked whether Cueto will capitalize on geography to make a quick trip to see Dr. Andrews, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "I think that's part of the plan. But don't hold me to that."

Regarding the range of ailments that could be bothering Cueto, Bochy said, "I don't think we rule out anything."

Rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez will replace Cueto in San Francisco's rotation.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Johnny Cueto, Joe Panik