SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy gave as encouraging a report on Marco Scutaro as he's given all year before Thursday's game. Ten days into a 20-day rehab that will likely determine his fate for the rest of the season, Bochy was asked if he has been hearing news that the veteran second baseman is finally starting to make real progress overcoming his cranky back.

"I am, which is good news," Bochy said. "We'll see how he gets through it today (a five-inning stint, his first back-to-back). This will be a big test. But if all goes well, the next couple of days we could see him at (Triple-A) Fresno.

Asked if he expects Scutaro to be with the club at the end of the 20-day rehab stint, the manager said, "I'm hopeful. I think you have to have that. Without that, you don't have anything. But the fact that's he going back to back, and got a couple of hits including a double yesterday, the back must be feeling pretty good."

What would Scutaro's return mean?

"That would be awesome news," Bochy said. "If it's not where he can go out there every day, and it's just 2-3 times a week, I think that works. I think he would improve our bench. He has a short swing, a swing that'll work as a pinch-hitter. He has experience, which will help the other guys, too. He's a popular guy in the clubhouse, too. I think the guys would like to have him around here."

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