LOS ANGELES -- This time, Matt Cain's return to the Giants' starting rotation appears as if it'll actually happen.
Manager Bruce Bochy all but officially declared Cain fit to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The right-hander, San Francisco's season-opening No. 2 starter, has missed his last two outings and was forced to go on the disabled list with a cut on the index finger of his throwing hand.
Asked Thursday if Cain were ready to rejoin the rotation, Bochy replied, "I'd say he is. Barring any setbacks, he's good to go on Saturday."
Cain took batting practice and tossed a ball briefly off a bullpen mound, indicating that he was preparing for an imminent start. "He threw for a little while, just to test it," pitching coach Dave Righetti said of Cain's mound session.
Cain was scratched from his scheduled start against San Diego on April 29 when he sliced the tip of his right index finger while trying to make a sandwich. Yusmeiro Petit replaced Cain and threw six shutout innings. Cain was earmarked to pitch Monday's series opener at Pittsburgh but was again scratched when the Giants decided that he wasn't sufficiently healed.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.