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A.J. Burnett Injury: Pirates Starter's Return Date Unknown, But Could Miss A Couple Weeks Of Regular Season

Rob Biertempfel reports on new Pirates starter A.J. Burnett’s eye injury. We don’t yet know exactly how long he’ll be gone, but it sounds like the most likely scenario is that he’ll return to Spring Training very late, then miss a couple weeks of the regular season while he gets ready to pitch.

“Without knowing all the details, I’d say he’ll probably be out two to four weeks,” said Dr. Robert Schwarcz, director of oculoplastic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “A lot depends on what (bones) were broken and whether there was any muscle impingement.”

Even if Burnett makes a rapid recovery, he will be behind the other pitchers in the starting rotation. It’s unlikely he would be ready to pitch a regular-season game after only one or two weeks of spring training workouts.

That sounds about right. Of course it’s possible he’ll have his scheduled surgery to fix his orbital bone and it’ll turn out that his injury is much worse than we imagined. But until I hear otherwise, I’d expect him to miss a couple weeks, or maybe a month. That stinks if you’re a Pirates fan, but until we know more, I think the default assumption should be that this isn’t that big a deal.

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