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Polanco out 7-9 months after shoulder surgery

MLB.com @adamdberry

ST. LOUIS -- Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco underwent surgery on Wednesday afternoon to stabilize an acute left shoulder dislocation, one of two season-ending injuries Polanco sustained during an awkward slide into second base on Friday at PNC Park.

Polanco was examined on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. David Altchek, who confirmed the Pirates' initial assessment that Polanco needed surgery to repair his shoulder. On Friday, The Pirates announced the recovery time for injuries similar to Polanco's takes from seven-to-nine months following this type of surgery.

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ST. LOUIS -- Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco underwent surgery on Wednesday afternoon to stabilize an acute left shoulder dislocation, one of two season-ending injuries Polanco sustained during an awkward slide into second base on Friday at PNC Park.

Polanco was examined on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. David Altchek, who confirmed the Pirates' initial assessment that Polanco needed surgery to repair his shoulder. On Friday, The Pirates announced the recovery time for injuries similar to Polanco's takes from seven-to-nine months following this type of surgery.

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Polanco also sustained a significant bone bruise in his left knee on the same play. That injury will be treated with rest, Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said. The club previously announced that Polanco's knee will require six to eight weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

Video: MIA@PIT: Polanco helped off the field after slide

It is unclear how Polanco's injuries will impact his readiness for Spring Training next year. He finished this season batting .254/.340/.499 with a team-leading 23 home runs and 81 RBIs in 130 games.

Without Polanco, the Bucs plan to use Jordan Luplow, Adam Frazier and Pablo Reyes in right field the rest of the season.

Kuhl to be re-examined
Right-hander Chad Kuhl, who has been out since June due to a right forearm strain, will be re-examined after he was unable to throw his scheduled bullpen session on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

Kuhl began throwing to catcher Elias Diaz on flat ground, but he did not pitch off the mound due to tightness in his forearm and elbow. He had previously thrown a bullpen session consisting of only fastballs and recently attempted to reincorporate his offspeed pitches.

In July, the Pirates shut down Kuhl for four weeks after they received a second opinion from Dr. Altchek, who recommended "conservative management," not surgery. The Bucs had hoped to see Kuhl pitch in a game again this year, whether it was in the Majors or in the instructional league this fall in Bradenton, Fla.

Kuhl, who owns a 4.37 ERA in 61 starts over the past three seasons, remains on the 60-day disabled list.

Diaz nearing return
Diaz, out since Aug. 31 due to a strained right hamstring, ran around the infield on Wednesday morning at Busch Stadium. The 27-year-old has been catching bullpen sessions and taking batting practice on the field, Tomczyk said.

Diaz will run the bases in Milwaukee this weekend, the final step before the Pirates determine whether he is ready to return to game activity.

Kang hitting, pain-free
Infielder Jung Ho Kang, recovering from left wrist surgery, has begun a hitting program in Bradenton, Fla. Kang is taking swings against overhand soft tosses, fielding grounders and throwing without pain, Tomczyk said.

If all goes well, Kang will eventually advance to batting practice before facing live pitching and getting into games during the instructional league. Kang has not played in the Majors since the end of the 2016 season. He returned to the Pirates organization this summer after acquiring a work visa, which he had been unable to do following a December 2016 DUI arrest in South Korea.

This is the final guaranteed year of Kang's contract with Pittsburgh. The deal includes a $5.5 million club option (or a $250,000 buyout) for next season.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Gregory Polanco