Cueto, Crawford progress; returns still TBD

Cueto, Crawford progress; returns still TBD

SAN DIEGO -- The outlook is optimistic for shortstop Brandon Crawford and right-hander Johnny Cueto, who have progressed in their recoveries from their respective injuries.

However, Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated that he's unsure when Crawford, who dislocated his left pinkie on Tuesday at Los Angeles, and Cueto, who strained his left groin on the same night, might perform again. Crawford remained on day-to-day playing status, while Cueto is still questionable for his scheduled start Sunday against the Padres.

Crawford said that he felt significantly better. However, he refrained from baseball-related activities, except for playing catch to keep his throwing arm limber. Ehire Adrianza replaced Crawford in the lineup for the second straight day in Thursday's series opener vs. the Padres at Petco Park.

Crawford leaves with an injury

Bochy indicated that he'll watch Cueto carefully before deciding whether the two-time All-Star will make his next start. Bochy vowed not to jeopardize Cueto's long-term health, despite the short-term need for victories in the National League Wild Card race, by asking him to pitch when he's "not quite ready."

Rookie left-hander Ty Blach and veteran right-handers Matt Cain and Jake Peavy remain the leading candidates to fill in for Cueto if he can't pitch Sunday.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.