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Giants closer iffy for opening day

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Giants closer Brian Wilson will be sidelined with a strained ribcage muscle, an injury that could keep the big-bearded major-league saves leader out for the start of the season.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the right-hander had an MRI exam. Wilson was injured Thursday while pitching against the Angels.

Wilson and manager Bruce Bochy didn't express much concern. But with the season opener less than two weeks away, Bochy conceded to the San Jose Mercury News that "this is a setback."

"His last outing, he felt it a little bit. It's mild," Bochy told the newspaper. "It's not torn or anything. We'll see where he's at Monday and then we'll have a better idea of where we are at."

Wilson, who had missed time this spring with lower-back tightness, said he felt sore after Thursday's outing.

"I feel a lot better than I did Thursday and I'll feel a lot better tomorrow and Monday and we'll take it from there," Wilson told the News. "I wouldn't imagine the team is worried about me. They know the situation … they know I'll be ready."

Wilson is scheduled to be re-evaluated Monday.

If he is out for an extended period, the closer's role likely would be taken by left-handers Jeremy Affeldt or Javier Lopez, or right-hander Sergio Romo.

Wilson, 29, led the majors with 48 saves last season.

BONDS SAGA: Home run king Barry Bonds is scheduled to go on trial Monday on perjury charges, more than seven years after he gave the grand jury testimony that is the focus of the case and 31/2 years after his initial indictment. It is unknown how much money the government has spent pursuing the case against Bonds and BALCO, the lab at the center of the investigation.

According to a New York Times report, the 11 people charged in the investigation of BALCO have served a total of 48 months in prison. Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson, whose refusal to testify against his former client has damaged the prosecutors' case, served 16 months for contempt after serving only three for distributing steroids under the original charges.

BREWERS: Right-hander Shaun Marcum said he felt good two days after leaving a start early with shoulder tightness. "I'll take a couple days off and rest it, then pick the throwing program back up Monday or Tuesday," said Marcum, who met with team doctors Friday.

DODGERS: Right-hander Vicente Padilla threw his first bullpen session Friday since having surgery Feb. 24 to release a nerve entrapped in his right forearm. Manager Don Mattingly didn't rule him out for the start of the season.

INDIANS: Third baseman Jason Donald will not be ready to open the season because of a hand injury. Team trainer Lonnie Soloff said Donald has a small crack in the base of his long left finger.

METS: Left-hander Johan Santana threw from 70 feet for the second straight day and said he felt good as he continued his rehabilitation from a Sept. 14 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

ORIOLES: First baseman Derrek Lee made his club debut, batting third and going 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored against Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels. Lee had been sidelined all spring with soreness in his right wrist.

PIRATES: Right-hander Brad Lincoln is expected to be fine after being hit on his pitching arm by a line drive but will skip a bullpen session today. Reliever Joe Beimel was scratched from a scheduled appearance because of soreness in his left (pitching) elbow.

REDS: Right-hander Johnny Cueto made a second early exit, lasting one inning against the Rockies after being slated to work three or four. Cueto left a March 11 start against the Rangers with tightness in his right forearm and biceps.

ROYALS: Jason Kendall won't be behind the plate for the season opener, though he might be by mid April. Kendall had extensive shoulder surgery in September and was expected to be out nine to 12 months but is ahead of schedule. He is scheduled to catch five to six innings in a minor-league game today.

Giants closer iffy for opening day 03/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 6:15pm]
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