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Johnny Cueto on track to return to Giants this season

LOS ANGELES — The Giants already are planning for one September addition.

Johnny Cueto is on track to return this season, Bruce Bochy said Thursday, and the Giants will watch him throw a bullpen session in Arizona on Friday, when they begin a series against the Diamondbacks.

“He’s been ramped up a little, but still 40 pitches,” the manager said before the Giants finished their series at Dodger Stadium. “I don’t know what the plan is this next bullpen at home. He’ll sit down, throw again, but he’s thrown quite well.

“… I think we’ll have him September if all goes well.”

Cueto has not pitched in a big-league game in 11 months, since July 28 last year, after which he underwent Tommy John surgery.

The 33-year-old is in Year Four of a six-year, $130 million deal.

“He’s on schedule, so that’s making enough strides that he could start his rehab in August, and then a month of rehab and he could be ready to go in September,” Bochy said. “Now, this isn’t us pushing him or whatever, this is just the schedule that was set out when he started his rehab.”

Steven Duggar was out of the lineup again Thursday, a day after getting scratched with lower back tightness. Duggar said he was feeling “much better,” but the Giants didn’t offer a timetable.

“He’s coming around,” Bochy said, adding Duggar would “take some swings in the cage.”

Pablo Sandoval also was not in the lineup and hasn’t started since his right pinkie was spiked Monday. Sandoval pinch-hit Wednesday and Bochy said they’re not holding him back.

“Pablo’s fine. He’s available for anything today,” Bochy said.

— With Jacob Hutchinson


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