Sanchez returned Wednesday to AT&T Park after an examination by concussion specialist Dr. Micky Collins at the University of Pittsburgh and was instructed to rest for three weeks. That timeline put his return in doubt, and manager Bruce Bochy all but ruled out Sanchez's return in 2014.
"That's a long time. That puts us in the middle of September," Bochy said. "Obviously it makes it questionable, Hector helping us out the remainder of the season. It's a tough break for Hector. We've got to look out for his well-being. We told him there's a very slim chance he'll be back this year. He knows that. There's not much you can do about it. He needs some rest right now."
Sanchez went on the concussion list July 26, then took a hard foul tip off the mask Aug. 16 while on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Fresno, sustaining a second concussion. He said he is still experiencing headaches but hadn't vomited in two days.
"The headache, it's been killing me," he said.
The 24-year-old catcher batted .196 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games. He went through a series of tests in Pittsburgh to determine the severity of his concussion, then will return to see Collins in a few weeks.
His status for winter ball back home in Venezuela is unclear, and will be determined by how he is feeling and recovering when that time comes.
"There's nothing I can say right now. I'm not feeling right, it's bad," Sanchez said. "Being in that situation, I'll see in three weeks how I'm feeling. Hopefully I'll get better in three weeks. I'll be all right."
First baseman Brandon Belt still must rest for two more weeks with his own concussion. He was away from the ballpark Wednesday after his wife went into labor.
"He's still a couple weeks away," Bochy said.