SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time, the Giants publicly acknowledged what had been suspected for weeks: the possibility that left-hander Noah Lowry won't pitch this season.
Asked Wednesday whether Lowry's surgically repaired throwing forearm would heal in time to allow him to rejoin the active roster in 2008, manager Bruce Bochy said, "That's questionable. We don't know if he'll be back on the mound for us this year."
Dave Groeschner, the Giants' head athletic trainer, agreed with Bochy and cited the calendar to illustrate his point. Groeschner noted that, for example, even if Lowry were to resume throwing on July 1, he'd need six to eight weeks without further physical setbacks to get his arm in shape to pitch. By then it would be mid-August or early September. Thus, said Groeschner, each week that elapses without Lowry throwing lengthens the odds against his return.
"I wouldn't say he's out for the year yet," Groeschner emphasized.
But Groeschner added that the Giants don't want Lowry to try throwing until the pins-and-needles sensation in his forearm has subsided. Lately, Groeschner said, the feeling has migrated from Lowry's upper forearm toward his wrist, indicating that it might soon disappear. Lowry, who underwent surgery on March 8, hasn't thrown since mid-April.
"Until he even starts throwing, it's going to be hard to determine if he's going to be able to pitch," Groeschner said. "I know Noah is holding out hope. We all are. But we want to make sure he's healthy and right."
Lowry, the Giants' leading winner in two of the past three seasons who is signed through 2009, underwent a follow-up examination that included an MRI on Tuesday with specialist Dr. Robert Gamburd.
"He's making slow progress," Groeschner said of Lowry. "But he has shown some improvement in his symptoms. It's still frustrating for him."
In other injury-related news, second baseman Ray Durham, who injured his left calf on Tuesday night while running the bases and left the game in the fifth inning, did not start on Wednesday. This effectively gave Durham two consecutive days off, coupled with Thursday's scheduled off-day. Durham remained on day-to-day playing status and should be able to rejoin the lineup on Friday at Washington.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.