By C. Trent Rosecrans
Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett will miss 8-12 weeks after suffering a broken orbital bone near his right eye, the team announced on Friday.
Burnett had surgery on Friday morning in Pittsburgh.
"A.J. will work through the three-step return to pitch progression," general manager Neal Huntington told reporters, including the Associated Press. "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. 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."
Burnett will re-join the team before the end of spring training, but he won't break camp with the team.
With Burnett out, another new Pirate, Erik Bedard, seems ready to take over Burnett's spot as Pittsburgh's opening-day starter.
Burnett suffered the injury on Wednesday when he was working on bunting and he fouled off a ball that hit him in the face.
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