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Joe Panik participates in first batting practice since groin injury

OAKLAND – Joe Panik is back on a baseball field, albeit in a limited capacity.

Before the Giants took on the A’s at the Coliseum in the second half of this year’s Bay Bridge Series, Panik took batting practice and fielded ground balls. It is Panik’s first time taking the field for the Giants since being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain July 7. Manager Bruce Bochy said Panik was initially expected to miss three weeks, and that timeline appears accurate, barring any setbacks.

“He could be starting up rehab as soon as the middle of next week or toward the back end of the week,” Bochy said.

Also on the mend is third baseman Evan Longoria, who has been on the 60-day disabled list since June 15. Longoria will start his rehab stint with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats tonight.

“Evan is going to play five innings tonight,” Bochy said. “He’ll play seven tomorrow and then we’ll see how he feels. But more than likely he’ll play Sunday. They’re off Monday, we’re off Monday and we will evaluate him at that point. I can’t say he’ll be up with us, but we’ll see where he’s at.”

In other news, Bochy said catcher Buster Posey benefited from his cortisone injection after the Giant’s 6-2 loss before the All-Star game July 15, as well as the four days of rest he had in sitting out All-Star weekend. Also received an injection was starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his right shoulder in addition to an MRI on Monday. Samardzija was placed on the 10-day disabled list for the third time this season July 15, with right shoulder inflammation.

“We’ll see where he’s at Sunday, whether he can take his bullpen or not,” Bochy said.

In other news, first baseman Brandon Belt is on paternity leave in expectation for the birth of his second child, with his wife, Hayley. Bochy said Belt is expected to return to the Giants tomorrow. In order to compensate for the move, the Giants recalled Ryder Jones from Triple-A Sacramento. Jones will start at third base. and Pablo Sandoval will start at first base Friday in Belt’s absence. Jones was batting .299 with nine homers and 48 RBIs in 81 games in Sacramento this season.

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