Panik to see back specialist in Arizona

Giants second baseman continuing to rehab from inflammation

Panik to see back specialist in Arizona

SAN FRANCISCO -- Injured Giants second baseman Joe Panik is scheduled to fly to Arizona when the team travels to St. Louis to see a back specialist and continue his rehabilitation processes, manager Bruce Bochy said.

Panik, who is dealing with inflammation in his lower back, has missed 14 games since landing on the disabled list Aug. 3. The 24-year-old is eligible to come off the DL Monday, but Bochy is unsure if his infielder will be able to return, even by September.

The Giants want Panik to meet with the specialist to figure out how to get the pain to subside as quickly as possible. He has not suffered any setbacks in his rehab process and continues to partake in cardio exercises.

"What I'm more concerned about is making sure we don't rush him back and make this thing worse," Bochy said prior to Friday's win over the Nationals.

Worth noting

Angel Pagan will join Panik in Arizona to proceed in his rehab from right-patella tendinitis. Pagan has missed six games and the Giants have turned to Gregor Blanco to take his spot in the lineup.

Andrew Susac, who was originally scheduled to take Sunday off to be reevaluated by team doctors, will catch for Triple-A Sacramento instead, to extend his rehab assignment. The catcher is working his way back from a right-thumb sprain.

"He's fine, so he's going to play again today," Bochy said before Sunday's game.

The Giants skipper added the team plans to make a decision on whether to activate him or give him a few more starts for the River Cats before rejoining the team.

• Bochy said he believes Nori Aoki is still on track to rejoin the team when eligible Thursday. Aoki remains limited mainly to cardio workouts, but was hoping to take dry swings in the cage during Sunday's game.

Bochy said he's been encouraged by his left fielder's progress in rehabbing from a concussion.

"He's got his energy back," Bochy said of Aoki. "That's what really hits you with the concussion. You're dragging all the time, but that's left him. I really think he'll be ready when the seven days are up."

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.