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Giants get good news on Brandon Belt, who may avoid surgery



Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The doctors are telling Brandon Belt the same thing, which is what he and the Giants want to hear.

Belt got a third opinion Wednesday from Dr. Tim McAdams at Stanford, who also advised that the first baseman can try to rehab his right knee injury, the Giants announced Thursday.

The official club determination is right knee inflammation for Belt, who hobbled his way to third and to home on June 23 in Anaheim, then went down behind the plate as trainers looked at the same knee that was operated upon in 2018.

It is unclear when he could return, but the expectation is he can return if rehab is successful. That likely would not be the case if surgery is needed.

In terms of OPS (.875 before he went down), Belt was in the midst of the second best season of his career — behind only last year. The Giants are not in dire need without him, with the platoon of LaMonte Wade Jr. and Darin Ruf a solid backup plan, but neither offers the offensive or defensive ceiling that Belt has. Especially in an infield that is absent Evan Longoria, Belt’s first base defense is missed.

There are a couple significant rehab starts coming up with Triple-A Sacramento.

Logan Webb was added to the River Cats roster and begins his road back with a start on Thursday. The righty has been sidelined with a shoulder strain since May 29, multiple IL stints an obstacle for a player who pitched better as the season went on through the first two months. Gabe Kapler told reporters in Arizona that Webb will follow this start with a three-inning outing out of the River Cats’ bullpen, as they evaluate how best to use him.

Tyler Beede is scheduled to pitch Friday, which projects as his final appearance for the River Cats during this rehab assignment. By early next week, the Giants will have used the maximum 60 days allowed for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery to rehab.

Through 11 starts, the former first-round pick has yet to complete five innings and has yet to prove his command has returned. The stuff has been solid, but he has worked multiple batters in his past eight outings: 26 in 25 2/3 innings in the span.

Beede still has an option, so the Giants could activate him and have him continue working in Sacramento, but that would entail creating 40-man roster room.

The Giants said Aaron Sanchez played catch Tuesday with his blister covered without any issue. He is expected to throw a light bullpen session Friday.