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Lowry and Vizquel anticipate return

Lowry and Vizquel anticipate return

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Good news burst into the Giants clubhouse on Monday morning in the form of left-handed pitcher Noah Lowry and shortstop Omar Vizquel.

The Giants' two key players are beginning their rehabs from surgeries and were bouncing around in good spirits.

"I'm going dancing tonight," Vizquel declared, a little less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus from his left knee. The Giants' starting shortstop is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Lowry was practically glowing as he talked about surgery that eased the exertional compartmental syndrome in his left forearm. He could be throwing off flat ground in a little more than a week.

"I pray to God this has taken care of the problem I've had," Lowry said. "I'll have an answer to that in April when I'm back throwing off a mound."

Because Lowry's surgery did not involve cutting into muscle, he will be able to return to action relatively soon.

"I'm keeping my lower half in shape and doing some basic arm movements," said Lowry, who went 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA with the Giants last season. "Hopefully I haven't lost much strength. I worked hard in the offseason to get my body in shape. Right now I've had four or five days off. That's going to set you back a little, but not [back] a month."

If everything goes according to plan, Lowry and Vizquel could be making their season debuts at just about the same time.

Vizquel's current regimen has him riding a bike and going through balancing drills, dodging balls and testing his lateral movement. He won't put any more pressure on his knee for awhile.

"Everything is going all right," he said. "I'm about a week from running."

The future Hall of Fame shortstop is coming off a season in which he hit .246, his lowest full-year average since batting .230 with the Seattle Mariners in 1991.

The 11-time Gold Glove winner needs to play 14 games to become the all-time leader at shortstop, ahead of Luis Aparicio's 2,583. Vizquel is already the all-time leader with 1,657 double plays as a shortstop.

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With two more hits, Vizquel becomes the 69th Major Leaguer with at least 2,600 safeties.

Lowry, meanwhile, led the Giants with his 14 wins, despite missing the last month of the season with left forearm tightness.

Until his hand problem was identified, Lowry's wildness was a major concern.

Lowry pointed toward a mid-April return to the rotation.

"I hope [I know]," he said. "What I do know is the work I put forth and the work this training staff will do. Right now I have a good range of motion."

Lowry has a 2-3 inch incision that crosses the crease of his left elbow similar to a wandering river. The surgery was a short procedure lasting less than 15 minutes.

"That's what they tell me," Lowry said. "I was under. When I woke up everything was all said and done. I know all I'm doing is healing a scar. I hope it's a quick turnaround."

The plan calls for Lowry to continue strengthening and conditioning for a week, followed by mild throwing off flat ground, culminating in throwing off a mound in about three weeks.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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