By Manny Randhawa/for Sports On Earth

DENVER – On Tuesday, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford stood on the steps of the visitor’s dugout at Coors Field, signing autographs for fans prior to a series opener with the Rockies.

The first item tossed to him for his signature was a Giants jersey. Stitched on the back wasn’t Crawford’s name, or even the name of anyone on San Francisco’s roster.

The name was Lincecum. The number was 55.

Crawford gladly signed the jersey and tossed it back into the stands.

The moment symbolized just how conspicuous the absence of Tim Lincecum has been in and around the Giants clubhouse this April. Since the free agent right-hander’s ninth Major League season was cut short by left hip surgery last September, his status has been a mystery.

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