Encouraging Pirates Medical News

Updates On Polanco And Others

Eric Hagman
February 20, 2019 - 8:08 pm

Eric Hagman 93.7 The Fan

Bradenton, FL (93.7 The Fan) - The Pirates' Gregory Polanco, rehabbing from left shoulder surgery, wishes the National League had the designated hitter.  If it did, he's confident he'd be heading north with the team next month.

"I wish there was a DH so I could make opening day,' Polanco said after Wednesday's workout at Pirate City.  

The need to build up his shoulder for throwing is the primary focus right now 5 months into his 7-to-9 month rehab.

"Hitting, I have no issue, no problem," Polanco said.  "It feels pretty normal, hitting in the cage and even outside on the field.  Throwing is going to take longer.  It's like day by day, but I'm making a lot of progress every week."

Wednesday was a good day.  "I threw like 120, 115 (feet), so it felt pretty good," Polanco said.. No Pain.  It felt pretty strong."

While Polanco and his teammates were on the fields, Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk provided his first update since camp opened.

"From an offensive standpoint, he's taking batting practice and swinging without any reservations and restrictions," Tomczyk said.  "Defensively, he's still working through the throwing program.  Rehabs go day to day.  Considering the significant surgery he underwent this is truly day to day."

Tomczak said the amount of work that Polanco has put forth is "awesome"

"Everything is trending very upward right now.  We are cautiously optimistic.  He still remains in that 7 to 9 month return."

Tomczyk also spoke glowingly of Jung Ho Kang, who is trying to resurrect his big league career after missing nearly two full seasons.

"He worked his tail off," Tomczyk said.  "It reminded me of how he worked through the rehab when coming back from the knee (injury).  He's in shape.  This is the best shape I've Jung Ho in since we've had him."

Tomczyk also had encouraging news regarding pitchers Joe Musgrove, coming off abdominal surgery, and Chris Archer, who underwent hernia surgery.

"They're still on target to begin the season healthy," Tomczyk said.  "They're going through their normal spring training progression.  

Clint Hurdle has penciled in Musgrove to start the third game of the season, Archer the fourth game.