Joe Panik likely done for season with back injury

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Giants second baseman Joe Panik has been limited to just 15 games during the second half due to a back injury and manager Bruce Bochy told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com today that he’s likely done for the season.

Panik originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to lower back inflammation. He returned last Monday, but appeared in just three games before suffering a setback. Panik was sent for an MRI this morning and Bochy said he’s not optimistic about his chances of returning.

“The odds lean more toward the season being over for him,” Bochy said. “I talked to him yesterday. He didn’t really feel a lot of improvement. He’s going to need some rest. I would be surprised if he plays, unless things work out really, really well and we get to October.”

Fortunately, Panik’s back issue isn’t believed to be chronic and he’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. The 24-year-old was really impressive during the Giants’ World Series run last year and followed that up by batting .312/.378/.455 over 100 games this season while earning his first All-Star selection.

Panik might not be the only member of the defending World Series champs who gets shut down, as Bochy also said that Hunter Pence is running out of time to return from an oblique injury.