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02/23/07 9:44 PM ET

Notes: Greene hoping to return quickly

Catcher aiming to avoid surgery on dislocated shoulder

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The MRI on Todd Greene's shoulder confirmed a dislocated right shoulder, which he hurt while throwing in practice Wednesday.

A Padres spokesman said Greene's right arm would be in a sling for two to three weeks and he would be re-evaluated after that.

"He is trying to decide between two options, rehab or having surgery," Padres manager Buddy Black said Friday. "I believe he is leaning toward rehab."

It is an easy decision for Greene.

"Surgery is going to be the last and final option," Greene said.

Greene, who is 35 and was in camp as a non-roster invite, believes he should be able to return after rehabbing the shoulder.

"It has been before, so it is not like uncharted territory," Greene said.

The Padres were completing what Black described as "low-intensity" drills when Greene went down in pain and had to be helped to the trainer's room.

"It wasn't fun," Greene said. "I went to throw and the next thing you know, I'm on the ground and my arm was kind of locked in position. I was just thankful the doctors were here that day to give physicals to the rest of the players, so I didn't have to stay in that position very long."

While it is very doubtful Greene would be available for the season opener on April 3 at San Francisco, if he avoids surgery and has no setbacks in rehabbing the shoulder, he might not miss that much of the season.

"If you're looking for a silver lining," Greene said that would be it. "There is nothing good ever about doing it. It is better to happen now than March 30, for sure."

He said "everybody is different" on the timeframe for the rehab.

"Generally, you'll know in a couple of weeks how you're doing," he said. "It is getting better every single day. I have to keep it in [a sling] for protective range, I guess is what you call it."

Greene said he may go home to Georgia for a few days.

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"I can't do anything but ice now and we have ice in Atlanta," he said with a laugh. "I plan on being here and wherever they want me to do the rehab."

Greene hit .289 in 61 games and had two home runs and 17 RBIs in 159 at-bats last season with the Giants. He broke into the Majors in 1996 and has also played with the Rockies, Rangers, Yankees, Angels and Blue Jays.

Vacancy sign: While Greene was not a guarantee to make the club, Black said he could have served as third catcher, as well as play first base and be a right-handed hitter off the bench.

"That would have been the scenario for him," Black said. "Unfortunately, this [injury] sets him back quite a bit time-wise."

With the Giants last season, Greene caught 42 games, played first base in five and was used as a pinch-hitter in 17 others. Josh Bard, who hit .338 in 93 games after being acquired in a May 1 trade with the Red Sox, and Rob Bowen are the top two catchers on the depth chart.

Black's bench could include Jose Cruz Jr. and Geoff Blum, both switch-hitters.

"Running a switch-hitter up there [as a pinch-hitter] is a nice luxury," Black said. "It makes the opposition have to make a determination on which side of the plate they want a fellow to hit from."

Batting practice pitchers: Greg Maddux, Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Trevor Hoffman and Cla Meredith all threw batting practice on a chilly Friday morning.

"The guys threw the ball well," Black said.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.