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BRADENTON, Fla. -- While the other members of the Pirates' pitching staff were participating in fielding drills Saturday morning, A.J. Burnett was tucked away in the right-field bullpen, getting on the mound for the first time since he had his fractured right orbital bone surgically repaired.
The right-hander had the surgery back on March 2 after suffering the injury while fouling off a bunt attempt. The recovery was put in the 8-12 week range and entails a three-step regimen.
Burnett is currently in step two. The first stage, recovering from the surgery itself, was estimated at 1-2 weeks, and he got there in eight days. The current step is returning his body and arm to where they'd been at the time of injury. Step 3 will be working up to game-ready shape.