Pagan receives injection for ailing back

Bochy says outfielder needs few more days before returning to action

Pagan receives injection for ailing back

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Still bothered by back soreness, Giants center fielder Angel Pagan will be sidelined for at least two or three more days, manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday.

Bochy said Pagan's pain is not concentrated in the same spot where he underwent surgery last September to repair a bulging disk. Bochy added that Pagan received an injection to ease the discomfort and was "doing a lot better."

Nevertheless, Bochy expressed apprehension about Pagan, whose mere presence tends to help the Giants. They're 176-130 (.575) in games he starts, compared to 258-228 (.531) overall the past three seasons.

"I think we need to be [concerned]," Bochy said. "He's had back surgery. He hit a bump in the road. ... We've got Hunter [Pence] down; we'd like to get [Pagan] out there as much as we can, and I'm not sure how much he's going to be able to [play]."

Pagan, 33, has not played since last Saturday night against Arizona. He wasn't in Sunday's lineup, then was scratched from games on Monday and Tuesday. The Giants had a scheduled day off Wednesday.

Various ailments have limited Pagan to 167 games in 2013-14 after he appeared in 154 in 2012, his first season as a Giant. He entered Spring Training as San Francisco's projected leadoff hitter but could occupy a spot in the middle of the order while right fielder Hunter Pence recovers from a fractured left forearm. That might depend on Nori Aoki's proficiency as a leadoff batter.

Pagan is batting .125 (2-for-16) in seven Cactus League games.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.