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Clement still suffering with knee problem

| Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

• It's been more than a week since Jeff Clement took a cortisone shot in his aching left knee. He still has pain and swelling — there is cartilage damage under his kneecap — and Clement is unsure when he'll be able to come off the disabled list or whether surgery will ultimately be necessary. The knee already has been scoped twice.

• On his weekly radio show, GM Neal Huntington said it's too soon to say whether right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (strained back muscle) will miss the rest of the season. "Sometimes, a muscle strain is tough to work through," Huntington said. "The last thing we want to do is rush Ross back."

• Triple-A Indianapolis righty Jose Ascanio dropped a television on his hand and is out for the rest of the season. Also at Indy, righty Brad Lincoln, a possible callup when rosters expand, continues to be bothered by neck stiffness.

• Huntington spent the past few days at Double-A Altoona and was impressed by starters Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke and Jared Hughes. He said it's possible a pitcher could jump from Double-A to the majors next year. "It would be reasonable to expect that, but it would be unreasonable to expect it out of spring training," Huntington said.

• Friday, Class A State College manager Gary Robinson ripped first base out of the ground after being ejected for arguing a call. "We love that our guys are passionate and are willing to fight for their players," Huntington said. "But they need to do it the right way." Huntington did not say whether Robinson will be fined or suspended by the Pirates.

• The Pirates were interested in outfielder Brad Hawpe, who last week signed with Tampa Bay after being released by Colorado, but Huntington said Hawpe was more interested in joining a playoff-bound team. Huntington did not rule out pursuing Hawpe this offseason.

• The rookie trio of Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata went a combined 41 for 116 (.353) with eight homers and 22 RBI against the Brewers this season.

• Last night, the Pirates made the two-hour trip from Milwaukee to Chicago in chartered buses. They open a three-game series tonight against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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