A.J. Burnett’s fractured orbital bone was first..."/> A.J. Burnett’s fractured orbital bone was first..."/>

A.J. Burnett Could Return by the Middle of May

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When word of A.J. Burnett’s fractured orbital bone was first announced, it appeared the right-hander would be sidelined for two to three months.  Now, after surgery has been completed and the Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander is responding so well, Tom Singer of MLB.com is reporting that Burnett could return to the Buccos starting rotation by the middle of May.

Just eight days removed from surgery, Burnett returned to Pirates camp yesterday.  After a short exam, Burnett was cleared to begin stage two of his recovery process which allowed him to jump on a stationary bike and even play catch with his teammates.

Burnett told reporters that he’s just happy to be back in camp.  The surgery went well, though at first, Burnett said he “wasn’t seeing at all”.  Things then went from foggy to clear for him as his scars healed.  Burnett said that he was able to be cleared yesterday because there was no tenderness remaining around his eye.

It was initially anticipated that Burnett would take one to two weeks to recover from the surgery and make it to where he was yesterday.  If he’s able to keep this rate of recovery up, the right-hander could return to action for the Pirates by the middle of May.  Next up for Burnett is returning his body and arm to the stage they were in before his injury.  After that he’ll have to work to get into game-ready shape.

For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Rum Bunter.

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