Giants injuries beginning to pile up as Opening Day looms

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For the first month of spring training, the Giants appeared to be in a relatively good place from a health perspective. That has unraveled in a hurry.

Brandon Crawford is the latest to hit an injury report that started to get crowded over the weekend. Crawford has left knee discomfort, the Giants announced, and will be sidelined for the next week.

The 36-year-old, who went on the injured list because of knee inflammation last season, had been managing the discomfort early in camp. 

Entering his 13th MLB season, Crawford needs fewer spring training reps than just about any player in the game, but the setback is a reminder of an area where the Giants don’t have much depth. Thairo Estrada is their current backup shortstop, with Brett Wisely being the top option in Triple-A if the Giants need help during the season.

Crawford and David Villar are set to make up the left side of the infield, but Villar has a mild hip flexor strain and is also currently sidelined. However, the Giants don’t anticipate it keeping him from being ready for Opening Day. 

There is less certainty about Mitch Haniger, who strained his oblique last week and may not be ready until a few days into the regular season, which starts March 30 at Yankee Stadium.

One of the backup options, Luis Gonzalez, has missed all of the exhibition season because of a back injury and went to Los Angeles for a second opinion from a spine specialist. To make up for any gaps in the outfield, the Giants started catcher Blake Sabol in left field against the San Diego Padres on Monday. Wisely got a start in center field in the 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. 

The Giants also announced that left-hander Thomas Szapucki (left arm neuropathy) is seeking a second opinion. Szapucki has been sidelined all spring, and the Giants lost another lefty bullpen option on Sunday. 

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Ronald Guzmán came off the mound in pain after throwing a pitch to the backstop and is getting an MRI on his left forearm to determine the severity of the injury. 

The health news wasn’t all bad at the start of a new week. Alex Cobb, who got hit by a liner on Saturday, will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. Over on the minor league side, Marco Luciano (back) took part in simulated at-bats and is expected to be ready to play in minor league games at some point this month. 

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