SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Outfielder Angel Pagan could return to the Giants starting lineup as early as Thursday, and could see action off the bench in Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee, according to multiple media sources.

Pagan went 1-4 Tuesday night in a rehab assignment with AAA Fresno. The Giants were 18-26 in his absence, falling out of the lead in the National League West.

Pagan is expected to return to the leadoff role, allowing Hunter Pence to slide to the number two spot. Pagan’s return combined with the return of 1st baseman Brandon Belt means the Giants are now returning to near full strength for the first time in months.

However, the team will be without star pitcher Matt Cain for the remainder of the season as he undergoes elbow surgery.