SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt is healing well from a season-ending hand injury sustained when he seriously cut himself trying to separate frozen hamburgers.Affeldt said Wednesday he expects to be done wearing a protective brace on his non-throwing right hand soon, perhaps in the coming days. He will fly from his home in Spokane, Wash., to the Bay Area on Thursday to be examined by a hand specialist and physical therapist. They will gauge his progress and determine the next step."Hopefully I'm done with it," he said of the brace. "I'll know tomorrow."
Affeldt was at home on an off day Sept. 8 when the paring knife he was using pushed through a hamburger patty and deep into his hand. He came within a millimeter of an artery and underwent surgery about eight hours after the injury to repair nerve damage in his pinkie."My hand is great," said Affeldt, who will begin his offseason throwing program in December. "The workouts are good and I started already. I figured I got September off."Affeldt has a 5 million contract option for 2012 and general manager Brian Sabean has said the pitcher will probably be back, even if it means declining the option and working out a new deal. Affeldt said he will let his agent handle all negotiations with the 2010 World Series champions."I expect him to be in uniform with us next year," Sabean said when the season ended. "I don't know exactly how that's going to happen, but the option is the option. If we have to pick it up, we could end up picking it up. If we decide to re-negotiate in some form, that could happen, too."The lefty went 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA and three saves in 67 outings this season. He had given up only three earned runs over his last 22 1-3 innings before the injury and his 1.21 ERA since the All-Star break was seventh-lowest among NL relievers with a minimum of 20 innings.There isn't a rehab regimen for Affeldt's injury and he should be at full strength for the start of spring training in February. Getting the surgery done immediately was important.Injured catcher Buster Posey, meanwhile, is on schedule to be ready by spring training. As was the goal for this month, he is catching bullpens in Arizona as part of his rehab from a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle. He was hurt and lost for the season in a home-plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25."Buster is well," athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said in a text message. "He has caught four pens so far."