Pirates’ Francisco Cervelli will begin rehab assignment in Altoona as a catcher | TribLIVE.com
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Jerry DiPaola

Francisco Cervelli’s long road to recovery will reach a critical point Sunday when he begins a rehab assignment as a catcher in Double-A Altoona.

Cervelli, who had been the Pittsburgh Pirates’ regular catcher since 2015, has been on the injured list since May 26 with a concussion, the sixth of his career.

Earlier this week, he caught a simulated game thrown by Pirates relief pitcher Keone Kela.

Cervelli, 33, is hitting .193, with one home run and five RBIs in 109 at-bats.

His Pirates contract is due to expire at the end of the season when he will become a free agent. He said last week that he wants to return to the Pirates this season. The trip to Altoona is the last crucial step in that quest.

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