NEW YORK -- A key offensive threat is expected to be back in the Giants' lineup Monday for the start of a seven-game homestand -- veteran Moises Alou.
"It depends how I feel after the long flight ... and if they want to activate me," said the half-joking Alou, on the disabled list since May 6 with a severely sprained right ankle.
There's still swelling in the ankle, and while Alou said he's around 90 percent healed and may have to deal with a sore leg for the rest of the season, he's ready to play. Now.
"I'm feeling pretty good, since Florida," he said. "If you had asked me before, then I'd say I'd play in two weeks, but in Florida, it must have been the water. I can run, but will have trouble playing the outfield moving around."
No matter. Alou's big bat -- he was hitting .378 with seven homers and 25 RBIs -- was sorely missed. He leads the club with a .671 slugging percentage and a .455 batting average with runners in scoring position.
"He makes a big difference with those RBIs," said manager Felipe Alou. "I hope we have a nice, smooth flight."
Moises Alou was potent batting fifth behind Barry Bonds, and immediately following intentional walks to the slugger, Alou was 4-for-4 with nine RBIs.
"You get upset," said Alou of not playing. "You have to work all over again like Spring Training. Back to step No. 1. But I'm very excited, because I'm feeling real good now. It's swollen, but I think it's playable.
"I know we're going to be a lot better," he said of his return. "I don't want to take away anything from anybody, but with me in, we're a lot better team. I think whether I go 10-for-20 or 0-for-20, my presence means a lot."
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax