Giants' Brandon Belt injury prognosis unchanged after checkup

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Belt's injury prognosis for playoffs unchanged after checkup originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

LOS ANGELES -- Saturday was a big day for Brandon Belt, even though he wasn't in the lineup for Game 2 of the NLDS. Belt got a two-week checkup on his fractured left thumb, and while he has been feeling good in recent days, manager Gabe Kapler said there's no new timetable for Belt's return. 

"What we learned is that sometimes the fracture takes a little bit longer to heal relative to the way Brandon is feeling," Kapler said. "I think Brandon is feeling much better, but there's still signs of that fracture, and I think that nothing has really changed from the prognosis standpoint."

The staff and Belt have viewed the NLCS as a "dream scenario" for his return, although that would be aggressive. Belt would be just three weeks out from the fracture, but he has been doing what he can to stay ready. He fielded grounders at Oracle Park several times last week and glove-flipped balls to a coach since he can't throw. He also has been tracking pitches in the batting cage. Belt has done all of this with a soft brace on his left hand.

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The NLCS starts Saturday either at Oracle Park or Dodger Stadium. If the Giants advance past this series, they'll face either the Atlanta Braves or Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves lead the other NLDS series 2-1. 

"We're still not going to rule anything out beyond this series," Kapler said. "Obviously, we have hopes that he can heal as quickly as possible."

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