A.J. Burnett of the Pittsburgh Pirates broke his orbital bone while taking batting practice during Spring Training with the Pirates, and following surgery to fix that problem, he will miss roughly 8-12 weeks of action, which means he could miss roughly 5-7 regular season starts.
When #Pirates say 8-12 wks recovery period, that is being game ready, not resuming throwing. Likely means missing 5-7 starts.— David Todd (@DTonPirates) March 2, 2012
Pirates GM Neal Huntington had a little bit more information on the steps the organization will use to get Burnett back into the rotation following his surgery, via our Pirates blog Bucs Dugout.
"A.J. will work through the three-step return to pitch progression. The initial step will be to heal from the surgery. Secondly we will recondition his arm and body to where he was prior to the injury. Lastly, we will put A.J. through the same progression as he would have gone through here in spring training."
Burnett figured to be right at the top of the Pirates rotation, so this is a big blow to their pitching staff early in the year.
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.