Giants hope Vizquel will start minor league rehab on knee next week

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel could begin testing his surgically repaired left knee in minor league rehab games as soon as early next week.

The 11-time Gold Glove winner, on the 15-day disabled list following arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 27, did light baseball activity Thursday and manager Bruce Bochy expected him to go through extensive pregame work including batting practice with the Giants on Friday.

"I'd say after the weekend [he could play in minor league games], but it depends how he's doing," Bochy said before his team took on the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series. "We'll go on how he feels. When he comes off, we need him every day. He's still a little ways away. He's a little frustrated. It's taking a little longer."

The number of games Vizquel might need has not been set. Bochy and the Giants want him to be ready and healthy to play every day, rather than playing a few games and then needing a day off to rest the knee. Rookie Brian Bocock has played every inning in place of Vizquel, who turns 41 on April 24.

Vizquel, who was not around the ballpark or available for comment Thursday, had hoped to be back by now -- and had a target date of playing in the team's home opener this past Monday against the San Diego Padres.

"We need him to go out there and get to a point where he can play every day with an occasional day off," Bochy said. "We won't be in a position to play him a day or two. ... Any time you have surgery, there's a possibility of setbacks, which he's had. He hasn't had swelling but he's had soreness."