Pagan: No time frame for return after injection
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SAN FRANCISCO –- Angel Pagan said before Thursday’s Bay Bridge series finale that he is in more pain after receiving a cortisone shot in his strained left hamstring.

Cortisone shots often leave the recipient feeling worse for wear the day after, so Pagan doesn’t consider his increased discomfort a setback.

Giants manger Bruce Bochy said Thursday that he hoped to have his regular leadoff man and center fielder available for the second of three games in St. Louis Saturday.

“When you get an injection, you need a  couple days off to let that work and settle,” Bochy said. “He’s probably going to miss tomorrow’s game and then hopefully the second game in St. Louis he’ll be good to go. He’s not allowed to do a whole lot right now, but tomorrow he’ll do some running, take BP and we’ll see where he’s at.”

Pagan told CSNBayArea.com exclusively that he won’t know when he can play until he sees how his hamstring responds to the cortisone shot.

“Whatever my body says. I can’t tell you right now what the time frame is.”

Pagan last played on Saturday, when he hit the Giants’ first walk-off, inside-the-park home run since 1931.

Since that win, the Giants have gone 1-3. Pagan said it’s been tough to watch his teammates struggle while he's stuck on the bench.

“We’re going to struggle as a team, but the only thing we can’t do is lose focus,” Pagan said at his locker in the Giants’ clubhouse before leaving to undergo more treatment on his hamstring. “We understand we’re going to win and we’re going to lose some games. We’ve just got to go out there and keep competing.”

With Pagan unavailable in the Giants’ last four games, Bochy first penciled Gregor Blanco into the leadoff spot Sunday through Tuesday, then turned to Andres Torres on Wednesday.

Blanco went 0-for-12 in his three games atop the lineup and Torres followed with a 2-for-3 performance in Wednesday’s 9-6 loss to the Oakland A’s.

Pagan said that he’s glad Bochy has two players with experience leading off to take over for him until his hamstring heals.

“I know my spot will be well covered; I’m not worried,” Pagan said. “They’re great players. It doesn’t matter where you put them; they’re going to be out there trying to do the best they can. They’re playing good. We’ve just got to keep going out there and battling everyday and hopefully win some games.”

If the cortisone shot doesn’t allow Pagan to play Friday, a stint on the disabled list may be necessary since Bochy can’t afford a short bench to go along with an overtaxed bullpen.

Despite watching his teammates kick around the baseball and struggle against three straight A’s starters with ERAs over 5.00, Pagan isn’t ready to panic.

“We know we’ve got a good team,” he said. “We just can’t lose the focus of winning. We’ll be fine. We’re just scuffling a little bit. I think we had the same situation last season in the first half. We’re not worried. We’re going to be alright as long as we keep the same intensity.”