MIAMI -- Many players might regard a knee brace as an impediment. Jeremy Affeldt considers his a possible supplement.

Therefore, Affeldt might continue to pitch indefinitely with the brace that he began wearing after he recovered from a sprained right knee that put him on the disabled list from April 28 to May 13.

"Right now, I'm going to wear it until they tell me not to," Affeldt said Friday. "If it becomes a part of my uniform, it becomes a part of my uniform."

Affeldt has performed better since donning the brace. He owned a 4.09 ERA in 10 appearances, having yielded 15 hits in 10 innings, when he went on the DL. Entering Friday, he had not been scored upon and hadn't allowed a hit in five innings spanning five outings since returning.

"My knee feels more stable with it on. I might as well just wear it," Affeldt said. "It could be a situation like soccer players. They feel more stable when they're playing with it on, even though their knees don't hurt any more."

Panda swings fungo, might return in two weeks

MIAMI -- Switch-hitter Pablo Sandoval has begun swinging a fungo bat right-handed, and the third baseman could be ready to rejoin the Giants in two weeks, manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.

"That's if all goes well with no setbacks," Bochy said.

This would extend Sandoval's recovery time to five weeks -- squarely in the middle of the four- to six-week estimate that was cited when he went on the 15-day disabled list May 3, one day after he fractured the hamate bone in his left wrist.

In Sandoval's absence, the top half of the Giants' batting order has improved, at least incrementally. Gregor Blanco (.387 on-base percentage) has become a decent leadoff hitter. Angel Pagan and Buster Posey have kept their batting averages at or near .300, and Melky Cabrera has embarked upon a career season.

Bochy indicated that Sandoval, who batted mostly third before he was sidelined, won't hit anywhere lower than fifth in the order once he's activated.

"We'll see where we are [when Sandoval actually returns]," Bochy said. "It's hard to answer that right now."