Just a guess: Lincecum should be OK

SAN FRANCISCO — The headline says it all. I’ve received no classified information, but I firmly believe that Tim Lincecum’s ailing back should not cause panic. Here’s why:

— First and foremost, it’s not an arm injury.

— Nor is it an oblique injury, although we reporters were told that Lincecum’s left side is affected. Side (oblique) strains have been the undoing of several pitchers, including Tim Hudson, another smallish hurler to whom Lincecum has been compared.

— Then there was the comment made by Bengie Molina after the Giants lost 4-3 Tuesday to the Padres. “It’s encouraging for us that he’s probably going to [make] his next start,” Molina said. “We need him on the mound.”

Does Molina know something that Lincecum or the Giants’ athletic training staff isn’t sharing with the public until they absolutely, positively have to open their mouths? Possibly. But I’m surmising that Molina’s remarks reflected the scuttlebutt in the clubhouse.

— Chris Haft


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