Patterson, Thatcher on the mend

Patterson, Thatcher on the mend

SAN DIEGO -- Padres utility man Eric Patterson, stuck on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is back with the team in San Diego for a few days this week to continue to get treatment.

But he won't be in San Diego long.

Manager Bud Black said Patterson will likely head to Class A Lake Elsinore on Thursday to begin a Minor League rehabilitation stint.

"He'll be there at least a couple of games for sure," Black said.

Patterson, who watched Opening Day from St. Louis on television, is anxious to get back.

"It's feeling better every day," said Patterson, who played three innings Saturday in a Minor League game in Arizona. "I don't have any problems, but we're not going to rush it. I'm not going to help the team by coming back too soon."

Reliever Joe Thatcher, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, threw a bullpen session before Tuesday's game against the Giants. He reported no soreness in the shoulder since starting a throwing program recently in Arizona.

There has been no timetable set as to when Thatcher will be ready to go out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.