The last five days have been extremely stressful for the Giants, but manager Gabe Kapler finally got a reason to smile when Kevin Gausman's test results came back.
An MRI on the right-hander showed no structural damage in his right elbow and came back clean, Kapler said Wednesday. Gausman had been shut down Sunday after feeling tightness, but he now could return to the rotation as soon as this weekend in Oakland.
"The Gausman news is the best news that we could have gotten in the last 48 hours with all the things that we've gotten news on," Kapler said after the Giants-Mariners series was postponed and moved to San Francisco due to the air quality in Seattle.
"It was great to hear that there's no structural damage. Obviously, knowing that we have all of our starters intact right now, I know that's something not every club can say,"
Kapler said Gausman still needs to be evaluated again before getting cleared to return, but the staff is encouraged and feels he'll be ready to take the ball at a time when just about every game is a must-win. With 13 games remaining, the Giants have a slim lead in the race for the final NL playoff spot, but they'll go into the final few days healthier than most.
Drew Smyly returned from the injured list last week and will start Wednesday against the Mariners. Tyler Anderson starts Thursday, and Gausman, Johnny Cueto and Logan Webb could face the A's in some order.
Kapler also said Jeff Samardzija will throw five innings in a simulated game on Thursday in Sacramento, which will get him fully built up as a starter. The Giants might need the depth next week, with the likelihood that they'll play eight games against the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres over the final seven days of the regular season.