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Harrison begins Minors rehab assignment

Pirates infielder will play at Double-A on Monday, less than a month after hand injury
MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- Less than a month after sustaining a fractured metacarpal bone in his left hand, Josh Harrison is ready to get back on the field.

Harrison will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Monday with Double-A Altoona, the Pirates announced after their 5-0 loss to the Giants on Sunday at PNC Park. It is unclear how long Harrison's rehab assignment will last, but it seems likely he will return within six weeks of his April 15 injury.

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PITTSBURGH -- Less than a month after sustaining a fractured metacarpal bone in his left hand, Josh Harrison is ready to get back on the field.

Harrison will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Monday with Double-A Altoona, the Pirates announced after their 5-0 loss to the Giants on Sunday at PNC Park. It is unclear how long Harrison's rehab assignment will last, but it seems likely he will return within six weeks of his April 15 injury.

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"Josh is doing really well," general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday afternoon. "He kept his legs going, really, from the day of the injury and was able to keep his arm going almost from the day of the injury."

Harrison began swinging the bat as soon as doctors told him his hand had healed, and he began hitting high-velocity pitches and offspeed stuff over the weekend. Harrison, the Pirates' everyday second baseman and a two-time All-Star, was hitting .263/.328/.351 with a home run and five RBIs before the injury. Whenever he's ready to rejoin the Bucs, Harrison will return to the leadoff spot.

"Players always want to come back sooner than maybe we think they're ready. How do we avoid that inevitable first week of struggle?" Huntington said. "Josh has such great eye-hand coordination, he's such a great worker, that we want to put him in position to come out and help this club right away."

Around the horn
Jameson Taillon (finger laceration) said he is preparing as if he'll make his scheduled start on Wednesday. Huntington said the Pirates would "rather err on the side of conservatism" with Taillon, letting him miss one start rather than risking a longer absence if the cut doesn't heal fully.

Video: SF@PIT: Taillon exits with laceration on right hand

Taillon played catch on Sunday with his injured middle finger wrapped. He's also soliciting suggestions for how he can help accelerate the healing process.

"The most common one I've gotten is to [urinate] on your hands," Taillon said. "I'm open to anything. … If it helps, I would do it, yeah. I'm not scared, man. I just need to be on the field."

Nick Kingham, who won both of his first two starts for the Pirates, is scheduled to pitch Monday for Altoona to keep him on turn for a spot start in Pittsburgh next Saturday. If Taillon is unable to start Wednesday, however, the Bucs might push back Kingham to that game and adjust their rotation plans accordingly.

Joe Musgrove (shoulder strain) is still scheduled to make one more Triple-A rehab start after working 5 2/3 near-perfect innings for Indianapolis on Saturday night, Huntington said. Before he joins their rotation later this month, the Pirates want Musgrove to throw six innings and/or 100 pitches in a Minor League start.

• Infielder Jung Ho Kang is participating in simulated games at the Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla. Kang is going through a Spring Training-type progression that will eventually include extended spring training games and a Minor League rehab assignment.

"So far, so good. He's showing up every day with the intent to get better," Huntington said. "He's showing up every day to try to get back here as quick as he possibly can and be the best player that he possibly can. He's going about it the right way and we're seeing some positive signs."

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

Pittsburgh Pirates, Josh Harrison