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Joe Panik getting closer to return to team

Panik will be joining the San Jose Giants tonight for his rehab assignment.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Panik could be back even sooner than we thought.

Per Kerry Crowley on Twitter, Panik was originally scheduled to travel with the Sacramento River Cats to El Paso for their next two games. However, the San Jose Giants announced that he will be joining them instead, meaning that the Giants could want to keep him close to activate him sooner than expected.

So far in his rehab with Sacramento, Panik is 2-for-6 with one run, an intentional walk and two strike outs. He was expected to rejoin the Giants next week, but this news could mean that they think he’s ready now.

Panik sprained his thumb on a tag play against Yasiel Puig in an April 27th game against the Dodgers. He was placed on the disabled list the following day, prior to the double-header before having surgery that was expected to side-line him for six to eight weeks.

However, his recovery is going remarkably well and he is ahead of schedule to return after just over four weeks.

Which is great news, for a team whose replacement, replacement everyday second baseman, Kelby Tomlinson, recorded three errors in one game last night.

Panik’s original replacement, Alen Hanson, began his own rehab assignment this week, also with San Jose. So it will be interesting to see how that works out and what happens when Hanson has completed his assignment.