PEORIA, Ariz. -- Of the injured Giants, manager Bruce Bochy considers Hector Sanchez the most uncertain to be fully healed by opening day. But there's little doubt that Pablo Sandoval's health is the most vital for the Giants, and on Tuesday, trainer Dave Groeschner revealed that Sandoval has multiple issues with his right elbow.

Sandoval was pulled from Sunday's lineup with ulnar neuritis and also has a bone chip that Groeschner described as a chronic problem. Will the slugging third baseman be ready to play against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1?

"Yeah -- I hope so," Sandoval said. "I'm ready, but you need to take care of the elbow, too. I'm going to do my treatment."

The rehab and rest will continue the rest of this week, and Sandoval will be re-evaluated over the weekend. Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy both said Tuesday that it is premature to be worried about Sandoval's ability to start the season opener.

"I'm still confident he'll be ready," Bochy said. "Sure, it's a setback. But if all goes well, we'll have time to get him ready by opening day. Hopefully this thing calms down by this weekend and we'll get back to work."

Sandoval had an MRI exam Monday and said the finger numbness that comes with ulnar neuritis already has gone away. Groeschner doesn't believe the bone spur will require surgery at any point and said it is something many players deal with and Sandoval has known about since 2009.

"We're making sure we get this thing calmed down," Groeschner said.

Sandoval won't need much time to get back in form when deemed healthy. He played winter ball and represented Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and said he doesn't need any more spring at-bats.

Sanchez, the backup catcher, will get at-bats as a designated hitter in a minor league game Wednesday as he continues to work his way through shoulder soreness. The switch-hitter took batting practice from the right side Tuesday but still feels pain when swinging from the left side. Sanchez is scheduled to test his shoulder by playing catch Wednesday, and Bochy said the hope is that Sanchez can return to a game this weekend, the final one of Cactus League action.

Left-hander Jose Mijares (left-elbow impingement) also is nearing a return and will face hitters during a live batting practice session Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium. Mijares has made just two appearances this spring, but Bochy said the team has a schedule mapped out that would get Mijares back on track to make the opening day roster.

  • The final start of Barry Zito's rough 2012 spring came at Peoria Sports Complex nearly a year ago, when Zito gave up five runs and seven hits in three innings and looked lost mechanically. On Tuesday, Zito pitched five innings against the Mariners, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven. At one point, Zito struck out five in a row.

    "There are two different approaches," Zito said. "Last year I was searching mechanically. This year it's just about finding that timing that all felt so good like it has in the past. Certainly, my confidence is higher this year."

  • The Giants lost to the Mariners 6-3 despite another strong game from Brandon Belt. The first baseman had two hits, including an RBI double, and improved to 21 for 50 this spring.