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Giants not certain about Brandon Belt timetable



Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

There is plenty of time for Brandon Belt to recover, though the Giants do not want to state just yet that there is enough.

About three months out from the start of spring training, Farhan Zaidi said it was too soon to know whether Brandon Belt would be ready for its start. Belt had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right heel on Oct. 8. The first baseman, coming off an excellent abbreviated season, is doing physical therapy in Texas.

“It depends on his recovery. Everything we’re hearing is positive,” Zaidi said on a half-hour Zoom conference call Wednesday afternoon. “But I don’t think we have a firm timetable or target date yet.

“That’s the hope, that he’s available for spring training, be ready to go by Opening Day, but I don’t think we can say that for certain right now.”

Belt had dealt with a heel issue all season, having used a walking boot briefly in summer training.

The news was less hazy and a bit less optimistic about Alexander Canario, a top prospect who recently had left (non-throwing) shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Canario, an outfielder who must be added to the 40-man roster by Friday if they want to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, will not be ready for the start of the minor league season, Zaidi confirmed. The injury is more serious to pitchers, but he needs both shoulders to swing. He figures to miss at least months of the 2021 minor league season.

As for the better news: Austin Slater and Heliot Ramos should be ready for the start of spring training.

Slater didn’t play the field after Aug. 11 this season because of a flexor strain in his right (throwing) elbow. The Giants are taking a “rest and rehab approach” with Slater, Zaidi said, which is a positive sign for a player who might have needed surgery.

“We’re anticipating him being 100 percent for spring training,” the president of baseball operations said of Slater, who was emerging as a star before injuries struck.

Ramos, a 21-year-old prized outfield prospect, suffered an oblique injury during instructional league play. Zaidi called it “unfortunate” that he missed more reps, but expects him ready for the spring.