Brandon Belt is making progress from his concussion, but Hector Sanchez needs more time

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Some encouraging news and some less-than-good news for the Giants this evening.

Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com passes along word that first baseman Brandon Belt passed a concussion test and could begin working out today. Meanwhile, catcher Hector Sanchez failed his and will now have to wait another three or four days.

Belt suffered his concussion after he was hit in the face by a thrown ball during batting practice last Saturday. He wasn’t feeling any improvement as of a few days ago, so today is an important step in the right direction. The 26-year-old has already missed two months this season due to a broken thumb, but he could be a major contributor down the stretch if he can stay on the field.

Sanchez landed on the 7-day concussion disabled list after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip on Friday. The Giants are currently going with rookie Andrew Susac as Buster Posey’s backup catcher.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.