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Bochy reveals earliest Bumgarner could return

Lefty might be back in Giants' rotation by late May after suffering fractured hand
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

PHOENIX -- If all proceeds well for Madison Bumgarner, the Giants ace could be back in the club's rotation by late May.

That was the estimated time frame for Bumgarner's return as cited by manager Bruce Bochy after the left-hander had three pins removed from his fractured throwing hand Thursday. Bochy mentioned May 25 to reporters as a suggested date for when Bumgarner might be ready to pitch -- but it was not meant as a scheduled day for the hurler's comeback appearance.

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PHOENIX -- If all proceeds well for Madison Bumgarner, the Giants ace could be back in the club's rotation by late May.

That was the estimated time frame for Bumgarner's return as cited by manager Bruce Bochy after the left-hander had three pins removed from his fractured throwing hand Thursday. Bochy mentioned May 25 to reporters as a suggested date for when Bumgarner might be ready to pitch -- but it was not meant as a scheduled day for the hurler's comeback appearance.

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Bumgarner now will work his way toward having the productive season that appeared imminent for him until Kansas City's Whit Merrifield hit a line drive off his hand on March 23. Bumgarner had a 1.05 WHIP with 30 strikeouts and four walks in 21 Spring Training innings.

Bochy also told reporters that right-hander Mark Melancon, who's on the disabled list with a strained elbow flexor, should be able to begin playing catch in about a week.

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, Madison Bumgarner