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Belt gets good news on knee, has minimal structural damage

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Brandon Belt injured

The Giants feared the worst when Brandon Belt injured his right knee last Wednesday in Anaheim, but they're more optimistic now that Belt can work his way back this season. Belt saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday in Los Angeles and manager Gabe Kapler said the second opinion on Belt's knee was positive.

"There's minimal structural damage to his right knee," Kapler said. "We're still going to go ahead with a third opinion on Wednesday now at Stanford with Dr. McAdams. We're feeling like rehab is a strong possibility right now and Brandon is feeling better."

Belt crumpled to the grass after trying to score on a throwing error last week. Kapler said his first baseman was a bit demoralized last week when getting checked out at Oracle Park, and the manager admitted over the weekend that surgery was a possibility. Avoiding that should allow the Giants to get Belt back for the stretch run, although either way he's likely to miss significant time given the nature of the injury. 

Belt originally had his right knee operated on in 2018 and had his meniscus repaired and a microfracture procedure. He didn't feel right until the start of the 2020 season, but he has been one of the National League's most dangerous players when healthy over the past two seasons. At the time of his injury, Belt ranked seventh among NL hitters in OPS for the 2020-21 seasons.

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The Giants are better-positioned than expected even without a key bat. LaMonte Wade Jr. and Darin Ruf will platoon at first with Belt out. Wade, who has a .844 OPS this season, is starting Monday night against Trevor Bauer and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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