Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett has a timetable for a return to pitching at the Major League level set at 8-12 weeks. The 12 week/three month part of that timetable is downright frightening for the Bucs. It makes me wonder if the surgery to repair his shattered orbital bone may have been more serious than first thought.
Neal Huntington said, “A.J. will work through a three-step return to pitch progression. The initial step will be to heal. Secondly, we will recondition his arm and body to where he was prior to this injury.
Lastly, we will put A.J. through the same progression as he would have gone through in spring training.
The very rough timetable to complete this process and have A.J. prepared to compete without restrictions at the Major League level is 8-12 weeks.”
Perhaps, there isn’t anything complicated with Burnett’s surgery and the Pirates want to set a ‘rough timetable’ a bit on the high side to allow Burnett to have a possible fast track. It must be very difficult to predict just how Burnett will recover. Pirates fans certainly would hope that Burnett can return to Bradenton and begin work at the end of March.
The Pirates said that the surgery was performed by Dr. Randall Beatty at Allegheny General Hospital.