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Cueto has elbow sprain, will miss 6-8 weeks

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

PHILADELPHIA -- Under the circumstances, the Giants received good news Monday when they learned that right-hander Johnny Cueto has a sprained throwing elbow that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks, instead of a tear that would require Tommy John surgery and yearlong rehabilitation.

"We got the better of the news," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the opener of a four-game series against Philadelphia.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Under the circumstances, the Giants received good news Monday when they learned that right-hander Johnny Cueto has a sprained throwing elbow that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks, instead of a tear that would require Tommy John surgery and yearlong rehabilitation.

"We got the better of the news," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the opener of a four-game series against Philadelphia.

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Cueto and head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner had not yet rejoined the club, but Bochy was aware of the pitcher's mood: "I know he's ecstatic."

This was the definitive judgment on Cueto, who visited noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Cueto went on the disabled list last week with what was termed as inflammation.

The Giants still must face the reality that they'll be without their pitching staff's co-ace until possibly July. Nevertheless, Giants catcher Buster Posey described his reaction as "cautiously optimistic."

"In my experience, everybody seems to respond differently to that type of injury," Posey said. "You just kind of wait and see and hope for the best. The worst thing you can do is say, 'Woe is me.' I feel like we have a good rhythm going as a team right now and hopefully we can keep that."

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco's other top starter who fractured his pitching hand March 23, recently began to throw and could return in June.

Cueto was 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts until he was injured. Bochy reiterated his amazement with Cueto's ability to excel through what could have been increasing physical discomfort. "It says a lot about Johnny's toughness," Bochy said.

Rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez, who's occupying Cueto's spot in the rotation, recorded his first Major League win on Sunday at Atlanta and is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

Video: SF@ATL: Suarez strikes out 6, earns first career win

Pence, Williamson updates
The outlook was less encouraging for outfielders Mac Williamson and Hunter Pence.

Williamson, who went on the disabled list with concussion-type symptoms April 28, will visit concussion specialists in Pittsburgh.

Pence, sidelined since April 20 with a sprained right thumb, was removed from his injury rehabilitation stint, reflecting a stalled recovery.

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