CHICAGO -- Recovering nicely from a dislocated left pinky, Giants second baseman Joe Panik was expected to be available to pinch-hit if necessary during Tuesday night's series opener against the Chicago Cubs.
Panik, who was injured Sunday, tested his finger by participating in pregame batting practice -- he homered during his first round of swings -- and taking about 25 swings off a tee. Joaquin Arias replaced Panik at second base, batting seventh.
Still on day-to-day playing status, Panik could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday.
"It's not going to be perfect," Panik said. "But it's getting better."
Panik hit .419 (18-for-43) in his previous 12 games to lift his batting average from .203 to .282.
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.