Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner expects bothBuster Posey and Freddy Sanchez to be ready to start for the Giants on OpeningDay.Posey is working his way back from a fractured left ankle sustained in ahomeplate collision in May while Sanchez is rehabbing a shoulder injury.Groeschner said that Posey has left the Giants' facility in Arizona to take a break from a rigorousrehab schedule."He's been rehabbing hard for the last four or fivemonths, so we just need to give him a mental and physical break for the nexttwo or three weeks and we'll pick it up after Thanksgiving and kind of get himinto a normal conditioning phase like the rest of the guys."Posey's recent progress includes catching bullpen sessions,taking batting practice, and running in curves around the edge of the infield."He's been catching on and off for a while now and you can have him catchballs off the machine," Groeschner said."He's caught up to 60pitches in a bullpen session."While Groeschner said that Posey was ahead of schedule inhis rehab, he also acknowledged that the rigors of catching may require theGiants' top draft pick in 2008 to rest more in spring training and beyond."We'll have to see how he is when he comes to springtraining," Groeschner said. "We'll definitely back him off in springtraining and kind of build him up towards the season. We may give him morescheduled days off and then as the season goes on, we will see how he'sresponding and feeling and adjust accordingly week-by-week,month-by-month."Unlike Posey, Sanchez is still in Arizona,where he lives, working on building strength before spring training."Freddy's doing well," Groeschner said. "He'sbeen in Arizonarehab since the surgery and at this point, he's now in the strengthening phase,which is going well. He's feeling good, he's bouncing back, and he's going tostart throwing in December."Groeschner said that the shoulder issue Sanchez is rehabbing from is morelikely to affect him on defense than at the plate.Our main concern is getting him ready to throw, Groeschner said. If we canget him throwing and feeling good, then the swinging will come later.Groeschner said that the team hopes to have Sanchez ready tostart at second base on Opening Day.He'll be on a regimented plan in spring training that Idesigned, trying to get him ready for April 5th.
Rael Enteen is a web producer with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @RaelEnteenCSN
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