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McCutchen returns to Pirates' lineup after short hiatus

Absence due to 'nagging thing' in left ankle lasts only one inning

MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen's absence with a "nagging thing" in his left ankle lasted one inning.

The reigning National League MVP was penciled back in the Pirates' lineup for Saturday night, after having removed himself in the eighth inning of the previous night's game against the Brewers. McCutchen slightly turned his ankle while swinging and making contact for the inning's final out.

"It's just something that nags you sometimes. I don't know what might have set it off," McCutchen said. "But I feel fine. It doesn't bother me today. It doesn't hinder me at all."

Upon his removal on Friday night, McCutchen underwent an X-ray -- which is routine under such circumstances. He had a thorough early-afternoon workout on Saturday before manager Clint Hurdle inserted him in the lineup in his usual No. 3 spot.

"He went out and did all the testing he could," Hurdle said. "He ran on the field, did turns, ran the outfield routes, things like that. Hit in the cage. The doctor re-looked at him. He feels comfortable and confident he'll be able to play."

McCutchen compared the discomfort he felt to someone occasionally waking up with a sore back.

"You get up and say, 'Oh, my back hurts.' And a few minutes later it doesn't hurt anymore," McCutchen said. "Yesterday, I just came out as a precaution."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
Read More: Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen