Pablo Sandoval close to rehab stint

SAN FRANCISCO -- Injured Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval could begin a rehab assignment in the minors as soon as this weekend.

Manager Bruce Bochy said before Friday's home game against the Chicago Cubs that Sandoval probably will play four to five games with Class-A San Jose and will bat mostly from the left side while he continues to recover from surgery on his left hand.

A switch hitter, Sandoval has not hit right-handed since the May 4 operation but Bochy said that wouldn't prevent the Giants from calling him up if his stint in the minors goes well.