Outlook brightens for Lincecum

Outlook brightens for Lincecum
March 29, 2014, 1:45 pm
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Tim Lincecum is scheduled to start Thursday against the Diamondbacks. (USATSI)

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OAKLAND -- Tim Lincecum still doesn’t ice his arm. Ice is for drinks, as his father, Chris, often says.

But did Lincecum ice down his left knee after it was struck by a line drive Friday night?

“Four times already,” he said after walking into the Oakland clubhouse without a limp Saturday morning. “Just doing what we can to get the swelling down, get it where I need to be.”

So far, so good. Lincecum’s knee didn’t blow up overnight, and both pitcher and organization are confident that the right-hander will be able to make his scheduled start in Thursday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

“He’s doing fairly well so we’re pretty comfortable he’ll be OK to go,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

[RELATED: Lincecum: 'Things are looking positive']

Lincecum didn’t throw 100 pitches this spring and his final outing was abbreviated after four innings because of Daric Barton’s line drive up the middle that caught him in the back of the knee. But even if Lincecum can’t do much throwing before Thursday, Bochy won’t be concerned.

“He’s gifted with a rubber arm,” Bochy said.

And rubber knees, apparently.

“Right now I feel fine,” said Lincecum, who had to be carried off the field Friday because the line drive deadened the nerves in his leg for a time. “It just feels like a bone bruise.”

[RELATED: Lincecum carried off field with left knee contusion]

The pitching matchups are set for the first three games of the season-opening series at Arizona: Madison Bumgarner gets the ball in the Giants' opener against right-hander Brandon McCarthy, Matt Cain will start Tuesday against left-hander Wade Miley and Tim Hudson will make his Giants debut Wednesday against right-hander Trevor Cahill. The Diamondbacks haven't settled on a starter for Thursday as they assess Bronson Arroyo's back spasms. It's sounding like Arroyo will be cleared to start, likely against Lincecum.

And Giants fans will not be shocked to hear that Clayton Kershaw's upper back is feeling pain-free two days after an MRI showed inflammation. All signs point to Kershaw starting the Dodgers' home opener ... against Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants.

The Giants know better than to hope they miss Kershaw in a series. They never do.


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