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San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner headed to Arizona to start road to rehab

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Madison Bumgarner. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

AT&T Park — San Francisco Giants left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner will fly to Arizona on Monday night, hoping to get clearance to begin a throwing program as he recovers from a broken pinky finger.

“He’s seeing the doctor tomorrow, and if all goes well, then the doctor will OK him to start throwing this week,” manager Bruce Bochy said before Monday’s series opener with the San Diego Padres.

The Giants ace, who will consult with Dr. Donald Sheridan before moving forward, sustained a break in the fifth metacarpal of his pitching hand on a March 23 comebacker in a spring training start against the Kansas City Royals. Bumgarner underwent surgery 10 days ago in order to remove the pins holding his finger together.

Bumgarner, who is recovering on-schedule, will likely take “a couple weeks” before he’s ready to throw a full bullpen, but it may not take that long.

“I don’t want to sell this guy short,” Bochy said. “Once he throws flat ground three or four times, he’ll be ready for a bullpen.”

If cleared, it will likely be a minimum of six weeks before Bumgarner returns to the Major Leagues.

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In other left-handed pitching news, 26-year old Andrew Suárez is on the taxi squad for Monday, and will make his second Major League start on Tuesday against the Padres and Cal grad Tyson Ross.

Suárez made his Major League debut earlier this season against Arizona, allowing four runs on four hits and striking out seven in 5.1 innings.

“I thought his first start was pretty good,”Bochy said. “He hung a slider, but overall, he threw strikes, he got ahead in the count, and did a lot of good things for his first start. Hopefully, he’ll carry that into tomorrow’s game.”

Bringing Suárez up helps space out the rotation after Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers. Each starter will now get an extra day to keep the rotation in order.

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Lefty Will Smith, coming back from Tommy John surgery, will most likely be activated on Wednesday, Bochy said. Smith threw on Sunday for Triple-A Sacramento, getting the final out in the fifth before sitting down and getting back up to get the first two outs in the sixth against Reno.

“He feels great,” Bochy said. “I saw him last night. He drove up after the game, and he’s very, very excited about being here.”

Smith, 28, has not pitched in a Major League game since Sept. 28, 2016, when threw the ninth to finish a 2-0 loss to Colorado, striking out two. That season, Smith sported a 3.35 ERA over 40.1 innings, and Bochy said he would not hesitate to put him in a high-leverage situation once he returns.

“That’s why he pitched again down there, so we wouldn’t have any limitations on him,” Bochy said. “I’ll use him anywhere and be comfortable doing it.”

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Brandon Crawford got in early hitting, and will not play against the Padres on Monday, after playing both games of a doubleheader against the Dodgers on Saturday, and the series finale on Sunday.

“He could use a little break,” Bochy said. “He’s getting it today.”

Crawford went 2-for-14 against the Dodgers, and has just four hits in his last 32 at-bats.

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Outfielder Mac Williamson hit with the early group at 3 p.m. on Monday, and feels “great,” Bochy said, without any concussion symptoms. Williamson was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, retroactive to Wednesday.

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Among the M*A*S*H unit that’s become the Giants clubhouse, the most recent patient — second baseman Joe Panik — underwent surgery for a sprained left thumb on Monday morning in Los Angeles.

“All went well,” Bochy said. “We’re probably looking at around six weeks, but they felt really good, about how everything went. He’ll be back up here tomorrow. He’s on his way now.”

Panik injured his glove-hand thumb tagging out the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig.

“He tagged him so hard, he might have put him on the DL,” Bochy joked. Los Angeles’s unbridled outfielder went on the disabled list for a variety of ailments suffered early in Saturday’s 15-5 loss, as he fouled a ball off his foot and ran full-speed into the wall down the right field line.

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