ST. LOUIS -- Pablo Sandoval's hamstring continues to respond well to increased activity, but the Giants plan to send him for a rehab game or two at Single-A San Jose before reinstating him from the disabled list.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval would play "a game or two" for San Jose, likely Friday and Saturday, and could be activated by Sunday if all goes well. He's eligible to come off the DL on Thursday but still hasn't run the bases.
"I'm OK with that," said Sandoval, who estimated his hamsting was at 90 percent as he ran sprints Tuesday at Busch Stadium. "Today was a good day. I put pressure on the hamstring for the first time. It was a good step."
Sandoval is scheduled to run bases on Wednesday. When he returns, the Giants should have a productive middle of the lineup, on paper at least, as they combine Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Sandoval for the first time.
Bochy said he hasn't decided whether Sandoval would hit in front of Pence or behind him when the Panda returns.
"I'm excited to be back in the lineup," said Sandoval, acknowledging it hasn't been easy to get his timing because of so much time spent on the DL this season. "I've been watching video from last year, from moments I was (in a hot streak). That helps me."
Sandoval said his brother, Michael, made sure to send him a freeze frame picture of the play when he injured the hamstring, when he did the splits at first base. Had he ever done the splits before?
"Oh yeah, I know I can do that," he said. "I did the splits before. But it was cold weather."
In other pregame news, left-hander Jose Mijares is on his way to St. Louis and his flight was expected to land at 8 p.m. If he isn't delayed, Bochy said the club plans to clear a space on the active roster and add Mijares prior to the first pitch. If so, he'd be eligible to take the mound.
Shane Loux is one candidate to be sent out to make room for Mijares. Amid his three-run eighth inning Monday night, a fan in center field pointed a green laser pointer at him. The Cardinals' Matt Holliday noticed it and called for time. Eventually, the prankster shined his laser on Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who directed security to have him taken into custody. Loux said he had no idea what was happening until the inning had ended.
No, there won't ever be "laser pointer night" at a major league game.