San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence, who suffered a broken left forearm after getting hit by a pitch during spring training, took batting practice Monday and is close to beginning a rehab assignment, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Pence, who also took pregame fly balls and grounders before the Giants' game on Monday, was estimated to miss six to eight weeks after suffering the injury March 6. He had hoped to return by May 1.
He will take batting practice again on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and then resume hitting for a few days before beginning a rehab assignment, Bochy said.
"He's feeling fine, not any setbacks," Bochy said. "He's getting close."
The Giants also said that RHP Matt Cain (flexor tendon strain) is close to throwing a bullpen while RHP Jake Peavy (back strain) could soon begin a rehab outing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Hunter Pence tests forearm, takes batting practice