SAN FRANCISCO -- If the Giants advance deep enough in the postseason, they're hopeful they'll get their captain back.
Brandon Belt, speaking publicly for the first time since he fractured his left thumb, said his goal is to be back in time for the National League Championship Series and he's optimistic he'll return at some point in the postseason. That series would start Oct. 16, three weeks after Belt was initially hurt against the Colorado Rockies.
"Whether that's possible or not, I don't know. It just all depends on how the bone recovers," he said. "But that's what I'm shooting for. I want to get back out there as soon as possible. Obviously, the (NLDS) is not at play here but as of right now the NLCS is. That's what I'm working towards, and if it doesn't happen I'll just get ready for the World Series."
Belt has been doing light work on the field, scooping up grounders and then glove-flipping them to a nearby coach. He is also tracking balls in the cage to keep his swing and eyes ready for a potential return. The swing is going to be the complicating factor as Belt aims to return.
The fracture, which occurred when Belt was hit by a 93 mph fastball, is on the inside of his thumb, right near the bottom where the thumb connects to the index finger. Belt said it's "not in a great spot."
"It's where I hold the bat," he said.
The fracture did not actually happen from the impact. Belt's thumb was pushed so far back that doctors told him he was either going to suffer a ligament tear or a broken bone. The latter was preferable, and the Giants will get Belt another scan in the coming days to see how the healing is going.
Belt has been in a good mood this week, but he said he was "pretty bummed out" when he realized he had suffered a fracture.
"I've broken this same thumb before and that one I knew right away. This one really didn't hurt that bad. It was numb after the initial pain that I had and I didn't really think it was broken, I thought it was just bruised," he said. "The next day I woke up and it was pretty sore so I thought there might be a chance that something happened to it.
"Yeah, just bummed out. We got to the end of the season and it's the worst possible time to have an injury. I'm trying not to get too focused on it and just stay focused on getting back out there. That's what keeps me positive."
Belt has been with the team the whole time since getting hurt, rehabbing and trying to continue to provide help in the clubhouse. He took part in the celebration Sunday, wearing a plastic bag over his hand to keep it dry and a captain's hat on his head. He said he was rooting hard last week for the team to get the franchise wins record.
"I thought that this team deserved it," he said. "We fought hard all year long, we had injuries and we had people step up. It's just a special team. I thought we deserved to get that 107th win and I'm just proud of everybody for going out there and taking care of the job."