Freddy Sanchez is confident he'll be ready to play come the 2012 season opener.
"I will be ready," Sanchez told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Im definitely right on schedule if not ahead of schedule.
Sanchez, who had season-ending shoulder surgery last August, is coming off a three-week strengthening program in Arizona.
"My strength has come a long way," he said.
Sanchez began his throwing program two weeks ago. He is now out to 60 feet, and he says his surgically-repaired shoulder "is feeling really good." He plans to begin a hitting program, which is less trying on the shoulder than throwing, in early January.
The Giants are relying heavily on their second baseman. This offseason, they have used the return of Sanchez and injured catcher Buster Posey as reasons why they don't need to acquire a big bat, saying the return of Sanchez and Posey is the equivalent of adding two new players.
Sanchez, 33, is due 6 million in the second of a two-year deal this coming season. He hit .289 with three home runs in 60 games last year, before diving for a ball up the middle against the Reds June 10 and suffering the dislocated shoulder that would end his season.
The update on Sanchez at this point is positive, but he'll be a few weeks behind the other position players when he reports to Spring Training, which he plans to do early with the pitchers and catchers.