The San Francisco Giants will be without another one of their best hitters for a while. Maybe even the entire season.

Trainer Dave Groeschner said Sunday night that second baseman Freddy Sanchez has a dislocated right shoulder that could require surgery and end his season. He said there also was damage to the labrum and the capsule is stretched.

Sanchez will be evaluated this week in Arizona by Dr. Gary Waslewski, who performed surgery on Sanchez’s left shoulder in December. The plan is to see how Sanchez’s shoulder responds to rehab over the next few weeks in hopes that he could hold off surgery return to the lineup and hold off surgery.

Sanchez’s injury is the latest blow to San Francisco’s hopes of repeating as World Series champions.

Star catcher Buster Posey fractured a bone in his lower left leg and tore three different ligaments in his ankle in a collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins on May 25. Sanchez, the 2006 NL batting champion with Pittsburgh, was leading the Giants with a .289 average and hitting third in the lineup.

A strong defensive player, Sanchez dislocated his right shoulder Friday against Cincinnati diving for a grounder up the middle. He made a backhand grab of Brandon Phillips’ sharp grounder in the fifth inning, using his right hand to brace himself as he slid on the edge of the outfield grass.

Sanchez was on his knees and flicked the ball away with his glove as manager Bruce Bochy and Gruesbeck rushed from the dugout. They had to hold his hand and arm up to brace it before trainers popped it back into place in the clubhouse.

The Giants have had 12 players on the disabled list this season. They had 13 all of last season to win the franchise’s first World Series title since moving West in 1958.

The NL West-leading Giants will get some relief in the lineup Tuesday, when third baseman Pablo Sandoval rejoins the team for a three-game series at the Diamondbacks. San Francisco optioned Conor Gillaspie to Triple-A Fresno after a 4-2 win over the Reds on Sunday to clear space.

The team also signed veteran infielder Bill Hall following Sanchez’s injury.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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