Notes: No timetable for Alou's return

Notes: No timetable for Alou's return

PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants training staff is using every available technique in a quest to heal outfielder Moises Alou's sprained right ankle as quickly as possible.

This will include your average, everyday cryo pump, a pneumatic, battery-operated, ice-filled boot which uses cold water and pressure intermittently to keep the ankle from swelling when Alou takes the long flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco overnight.

Still, even with other specialty treatments, there's only one person who can determine Alou's timetable: Mother Nature ... maybe with an assist from Father Time.

Alou hasn't discussed his emotions yet after damaging the ligaments in the ankle on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park while stumbling going after a foul ball in right field.

Trainer Stan Conte, however, said on Sunday that "the swelling is down to just bad now as opposed to what it was, which was pretty bad. That has improved over the last 48 hours."

An MRI is scheduled on Tuesday in San Francisco to determine how badly Alou's ankle is sprained and if there are bone problems or other issues. The Giants are taking an aggressive, rather than let-it-heal-slowly approach, but as Conte explained, "it's going to go how it's going to go."

Alou is able to stand without support and is walking and bearing weight on the ankle, but Conte said the next 15 days or so will give a clearer picture of his progress.

"We should know more by Wednesday," said Conte.

On Saturday, Alou hobbled to the training room on crutches and underwent a series of treatments -- and was still at it while the Kentucky Derby was run.

Alou, a racehorse owner and breeder, wasn't going to miss this big event.

"We were mostly talking horses," said Conte. "I learned a whole lot about stud fees. Watched the Derby? He'd cut off his leg before he'd miss it."

Long night's journey into ... night: After a 5 p.m. PT game at Philly on Sunday for an ESPN-televised contest, the Giants will fly overnight to San Francisco, arriving at around 5 a.m. on Monday.

But then they'll play a 7:15 p.m. makeup game against the Astros at AT&T Park on what had been an off-day. The Giants will be forced to play 20 straight days -- hardly the original plan.

But according to Larry Baer, the club's executive vice president and chief operating officer, it was the only way to replay the rainout game.

"The choices -- and they were not good choices -- would have been ... it was the only time Houston could play the game in San Francisco, or play a doubleheader in Houston, which nobody wanted," said Baer, who explained to the Players Association through the league office about the possibilities, then discussed it with the teams' player reps.

"It was not a good choice for us, but the only one to replay the game," said Baer.

Rehab updates: Right-handed reliever Brian Wilson, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique (side) muscle, has thrown a bullpen session twice in the past three days and is doing well.

"We'll have another bullpen on Tuesday and pick up the intensity," said Conte. "We're hoping for the same kind of progression as [Noah] Lowry, with a simulated game so he can pick it up."

Wilson is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday.

Personnel change: Justin Knoedler, called up on Saturday as an emergency catcher with backup Todd Greene still sore from a collision at home plate in Milwaukee, will be sent back to Double-A Connecticut after Sunday's game.

An outfielder, perhaps Dan Ortmeier, will be called up from Triple-A Fresno on Monday.

Greene had batting practice the past two days and also threw on the side to test his right arm, which received a contusion on a hit by the Brewers' 260-pound Prince Fielder.

Coming up: Lowry comes off the disabled list (right oblique strain) to make only his second start of the season Monday against Houston at 7:15 p.m. PT at AT&T Park. He was taken out of the home opener in the second inning. He'll oppose right-hander Roy Oswalt.

Rich Draper is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.