LOS ANGELES -- Billy Chamberlain, the homeless Giants fan whose disappearance prompted considerable concern among the ballclub, is alive and well ... and still living on the street.

Chamberlain, a fixture at AT&T Park who hadn't been seen for more than a month, materialized Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, where he has occasionally visited. He occupied his usual pregame spot, perched outside the main parking lot gate.

"Everybody was worried about him," right-hander Guillermo Mota said.

"It's good to know that he's healthy and doing fine," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Believers in karma linked the Giants' nosediving fortunes in August and much of September to Chamberlain's vanishing.

"We're still blaming our little skid on him," Bochy jokingly said.

Chamberlain delivered vague responses when asked why he left Northern California without a trace in early August.

"I just decided it was time," he said. "I had been there -- three years?"

Chamberlain was unaware that a missing persons report on him had been filed but said he was aware that many people within the Giants organization were worried about him. He said he tried to tell security guards at the Giants' team hotel in San Diego to inform traveling secretary Michael King and senior vice president of communications Staci Slaughter that he was OK. Apparently, there was a communications breakdown. Oddly, Chamberlain also declined to resurface when the Giants played at San Diego, another road city where he previously has surfaced, from Sept. 5-7.

"I'm fine," affirmed Chamberlain, sporting a 2010 world champions cap and a FSN Bay Area jacket that broadcaster Duane Kuiper gave him.

Surgery possible for Sandoval's shoulder

LOS ANGELES -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated Tuesday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval might need offseason surgery on his strained left shoulder if it remains troublesome.

Swinging right-handed has been painful for the switch-hitting Sandoval, explaining his absence from Tuesday night's starting lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers and ace southpaw Clayton Kershaw. Bochy acknowledged that Sandoval, the reigning National League Player of the Week who leads the Giants with a .310 batting average, 22 home runs and 67 RBIs, probably won't start Wednesday against Dodgers lefty Dana Eveland.

Obviously, Bochy dearly wanted Sandoval's bat in the lineup.

"It's tough," Bochy said."I talked with Pablo to see if there was any chance [of playing]. But he just can't swing right-handed."

Bochy said that Sandoval and San Francisco's medical staff must decide after the season whether it's best to rehabilitate the injury or "go in there" -- meaning surgery.

Trying to remain optimistic about Sandoval's avoiding surgery, Bochy suggested that complete rest could prompt a recovery.

"He really hasn't had a break to let this thing calm down," Bochy said.

Sandoval, 25, missed 40 games earlier this season after undergoing sugery to remove a fractured hamate bone.

Giants mulling changes to rotation

LOS ANGELES -- Emphasizing that no decisions have been made, manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that he and members of his coaching staff began discussing possible alterations to the starting rotation if the Giants remain in postseason contention by Friday, when they open a three-game series at National League West-leading Arizona.

"A lot depends on what happens the next few days," Bochy said.

Friday would be rookie left-hander Eric Surkamp's turn to pitch, but Monday's scheduled off-day will allow Matt Cain to start that game on his usual four days' rest. Looking farther ahead, Bochy noted that this also would align Cain to start on four days' rest in the Sept. 28 regular-season finale against Colorado at AT&T Park, if the Giants face a must-win situation.

Surkamp could be pushed back to Saturday, enabling Tim Lincecum to work Sunday's series finale on his regular four days' rest. Or the Giants could opt to skip Surkamp entirely, which would force Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong to pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively, on three days' rest.

Worth noting

• Outfielder Cody Ross said that his strained right hamstring feels better each day, though he admitted that he might have to occupy a limited role if he resumes playing soon.

"It's a matter of trying to get back to where I can function," said Ross, who jokingly added, "I'd say that they're not going to use me as a pinch-runner."

The Giants said that Ross could miss up to a week after he hurt himself last Friday. He received a cortisone shot Sunday in hopes of accelerating his healing.

• Manager Bruce Bochy has received reports saying that Nate Schierholtz has been "doing a lot better" in his recovery from a fractured right foot and observed that the outfielder could be ready to rejoin the active roster during this weekend's series at Arizona.

Bochy noted that Schierholtz, who's undergoing treatment at the Giants' training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., would have been in Tuesday night's lineup against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, despite the lefty-against-lefty matchup.

"It'd be nice to have him available," Bochy said.