SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mark DeRosa said Thursday that he expects to begin taking batting practice against professional pitching sometime this weekend, which would be the immediate precursor to appearing in exhibition games.
DeRosa, who underwent left wrist surgery last October, believes he's healthy enough to play now. But the Giants' projected left fielder has eased back into action by facing only coaches in batting practice. DeRosa said he'll likely test himself against legitimate pitching by squaring off against a Major or Minor Leaguer who's scheduled to throw a between-outings bullpen session Saturday or Sunday.
DeRosa admitted that his wrist feels sore as the day lengthens.
"But it's nothing that would keep me from playing," he said, pointing out that he coped with his injury after hurting himself by swinging at a Randy Johnson pitch last June 30 against the Giants. Asked if he had any doubt about being ready for Opening Day, DeRosa replied, "Not at all. I think I could play today."
Another ailing yet upbeat Giant was first baseman Travis Ishikawa, who's recovering from torn ligaments in his left foot. Ishikawa engaged in soft-toss batting practice for the first time and should begin taking ground balls Friday. Echoing DeRosa, Ishikawa said that though he felt some "tenderness" in his foot, "it's something I think I'm going to have to deal with for the entire year."
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Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, whose surgically repaired left shoulder is mending, could begin swinging a bat by next week. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy conceded that Sanchez probably won't be ready for the April 5 season opener at Houston.
Infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who injured his left foot while running the bases in Wednesday's Cactus League opener against Seattle, reported that X-rays revealed no fracture. Burriss broke a bone in the foot last July and said that he felt pain in the same area as he rounded first base en route to a sixth-inning double.
Results of an MRI that Burriss underwent Thursday were not immediately available. He expressed hopes that all he did was tear scar tissue. If that's the case, he could resume playing next week.
"Thank God it's not fractured again," said Burriss, who needed crutches to get around Thursday.
Outfielder Thomas Neal, who was beaned by a pitch from Seattle's Ricky Orta on Wednesday, was found to have no neurological damage after undergoing concussion tests. Bochy said that Neal will be available to play Friday.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.