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Bucs play waiting game with injured Cutch

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates continue their waiting game with their star center fielder.

Andrew McCutchen -- who sustained an avulsion fracture of his 11th rib in his left side Sunday -- remains off the disabled list, and manager Clint Hurdle said it was "his understanding" the reigning National League MVP was able to take a few swings of a bat recently. The Pirates and McCutchen said they want to hold off on a DL move for the center fielder to see if he could be game-ready before 15 days are up.

"They continue and try and add different mobility exercises, resistance exercises, movement -- the degree of running he's doing right now, I think it's the minimum," Hurdle said Friday. "[McCutchen is] progressing in a positive fashion as of now."

In addition to McCutchen's injury, second baseman Neil Walker was out of the starting lineup for the fifth time in six games Friday due to tightness in his back. Walker was able to take ground balls and batting practice on the field with his teammates -- an improvement from Thursday -- but Hurdle said he's still only available in an emergency scenario Friday.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for
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