PHOENIX — The San Francisco Giants could accelerate their timeline for right-hander Johnny Cueto to help with their pursuit of an NL wild card.

Cueto, 33, had season-ending Tommy John surgery a year ago. He was scheduled to throw 45 pitches in a rehab start at Class A San Jose on Thursday night.

The original plan was to have Cueto make at least two more rehab starts after that, but that could change.

“Definitely needs a start tonight and another start,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday. “We’ll see where we are at. I’m not saying we’re going to do anything. I’m just saying that we will re-evaluate.”

Cueto went 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts last season before the injury. He is in the fourth year of a six-year, $130 million contract.

Bochy says Cueto is “pretty close to 100 percent, he just doesn’t have the strength and stamina to go deep into games.”

Cueto struck out seven in four scoreless innings in his first two rehab appearances in the rookie Arizona League.



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