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Pirates update injury statuses of Joe Musgrove, Josh Harrison, others

Chris Adamski
| Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws next to Michael Feliz before a game against the Cardinals Saturday, April 28, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws next to Michael Feliz before a game against the Cardinals Saturday, April 28, 2018, at PNC Park.

From between-start bullpen sessions to playing catch, Joe Musgrove has reached the point of his rehabilitation in which just about everything he's doing is as if he's back in a major-league rotation.

Except that he's still pitching in the minor leagues.

"He's going through your normal spring training work-up," Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said in his weekly session with the media Wednesday. "Unfortunately we weren't able to get him to that spot in spring, so he's got to get the landmarks that check boxes of what the expectation is of the pitching coach, the organization and notably (manager Clint Hurdle)."

Musgrove has been plagued by a right shoulder strain, first at the outset of spring training and again just after opening day. He has yet to make his debut for the Pirates after being acquired in the Gerrit Cole trade but is scheduled to make his fourth rehab start Friday.

If all goes well, he could join the Pirates rotation as soon as next week.

Harrison continues rehab

Josh Harrison was scheduled to play in a second minor-league rehabilitation game Wednesday after his initial rehab game for Double-A Altoona on Monday. The plan for Wednesday was for a full nine-inning game.

"We will see where he is at at the end of the game," Tomczyk said Wednesday morning, "and re-assess for possible more game activity (Thursday)."

Harrison suffered a hand fracture when he was hit by a pitch in Miami on April 15. He could potentially return to the Pirates as soon as the weekend.

"He was only off for four weeks from competitive pitching, which was nice," Tomczyk said. "Our performance team did an excellent job of keeping his legs and the remainder of his body fluid and strong, so when he was ready to go he wouldn't have as much catching up. I think the game is going to dictate a lot of those (hurdles to clear) – the hard tags, the slides, getting jammed from pitches, so those things that really aren't on paper in a rehab plan but just what the game will dictate."

Schugel examined by Dr. Andrews

Reliever A.J. Schugel was examined by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Tomczyk said, and has returned to Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., for rehab. Schugel, who began the season on the disabled list because of shoulder discomfort, was given a platelet-rich plasma injection and will be shut down from throwing for approximately two weeks, Tomczyk said.

Schugel had a recurrence of the pain in his shoulder during his rehab earlier this month.

"He will be re-built up at the appropriate time," Tomczyk said.

Reports 'positive' on Romero

In the two weeks since he was placed on the disabled list, lefthanded reliever Enny Romero was examined by Pirates medical personnel in Pittsburgh.

"There are positive reports," Tomczyk said, "so we continue to the advance strength and conditioning exercises to prep him to begin throwing in the coming days, hopefully."

The Pirates had announced they were designating Romero for assignment April 28, two weeks and two rough outings after he was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals . But Romero and his representation informed the Pirates that he had been suffering from a shoulder impingement, so he remains on the 40-man roster.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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