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Pirates' Andrew McCutchen On Mend, Could Return Saturday

Pirate centerfielder Andrew McCutchen could return as soon as Saturday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic.

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Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, recovering from an AC shoulder joint injury, sat Thursday for the fourth consecutive game. He took some swings, caught some more fly balls ... and bided his time for his right shoulder to heal.

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"He's going to do a little more," Russell said before McCutchen participated in batting practice. "Swing the bat a little bit, see how it feels. Play a little catch. He's getting better. See how he progresses through this, and go from there."

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The Pirates expect him to return to play Saturday or Sunday.

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The Pittsburgh offense has occasionally posted huge numbers in McCutchen's absence, winning with scores of 11-9 and 15-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers behind monster games by many contributors including Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker. But it has also posted only three runs total in their two losses in the Brewers series.

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The Bucs take on the first place San Diego Padres this evening. Paul Maholm will start against Kevin Correia at 7:05 at PNC Park.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.