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Rehabbing Morton set for simulated game

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Charlie Morton, recovering from right hip surgery, is on track to make a 65-pitch start in an extended spring training game, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. If that goes well, he will join one of the Pirates' Minor League clubs for a rehab assignment.

Morton's rehab stint is expected to last a full 30 days before he is activated. That would put his tentative return from the disabled list around June 1.

"Thank god he's not in pain, he's healed," Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage said. "Now he's got to get those muscle repetition memories going in the right direction, before he knew he was OK, but he just couldn't get in sync. That's why the simulated games, the bullpens and making sure that all his long toss on flat ground is monitored.

"Right now, it's a process and we've got to stick with it and we've got to make sure that Charlie is comfortable with himself and that we feel comfortable with where Charlie's at. And we'll just take it one start at a time."

George Von Benko is a contributor to
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