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The Giants aren’t ruling out Matt Cain to make his next start after diagnosing him with a Grade 1 hamstring strain. They know they’ll be without Santiago Casilla for quite a bit longer.
But Casilla’s diagnosis was not as dire as they feared. The right-handed setup man has a Grade 2 hamstring strain and is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the beat reporters Thursday in Denver.
Both injuries occurred during what became a somewhat somber 5-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Cain grabbed his hamstring on the final pitch of the third inning and did not return. Casilla collapsed in apparent extreme pain as he sprinted to try to beat out a ground ball in the ninth, and had to be carried off the field.
[REWIND: Casilla, Cain injured in victory]
Bochy told the beat guys that Casilla might have reacted the way he did because he feared he had sustained a significant knee injury. Given the way the scene played out, the news could have been much worse.
The Giants could get Casilla back in late June -- around the same time Brandon Belt is expected to return from a fractured thumb.
Cain was walking without a limp on Wednesday, according to Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper. But walking is different than pitching. And given the time of year, I’d expect the Giants would lean toward skipping Cain’s next turn on Memorial Day against the Chicago Cubs. Cain will be re-evaluated when the team returns home. If it appears he would miss more than one start, the Giants would place him on the disabled list.
Casilla already was placed on the DL and the team recalled right-hander George Kontos from Triple-A Fresno. Expect Jean Machi to move up in the bullpen pecking order, with Juan Gutierrez also seeing more leveraged situations.
[RELATED: Giants place Casilla on DL, recall Kontos]
Hamstring injuries are graded on three levels, with Grade 3 being the most significant, often involving internal bleeding.