Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett underwent surgery on Friday morning to repair a fractured orbital bone in his right eye.
The procedure was performed at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates hope the newly-acquired veteran will be able to pitch in about two months.
"A.J. will work through the three-step return to pitch progression," said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington in a statement on Friday morning. "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 suffered the injury Wednesday when his own bunt attempt off a pitch from a machine bounced off his bat and struck his face between the eye and temple.
Acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade just before the start of spring training, Burnett was likely to be Pittsburgh's starter on Opening Day.
In 33 games, including 32 starts, last season, Burnett went 11-11 with a 5.15 earned run average.