Spring Training the goal for Clement's return

Spring Training the goal for Clement's return

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are optimistic that Jeff Clement will be ready to participate in Spring Training after the first baseman underwent successful surgery on his left knee Wednesday.

Dr. Richard Steadman performed the microfracture procedure, which was focused on the non-weight bearing portion of Clement's knee. Dr. Steadman estimated that Clement's recovery time will be about six months.

Such a timetable means that there might still be limitations in what Clement is able to do at the start of Spring Training.

This marks the second time in three years that Clement's season has ended prematurely due to left knee surgery. He underwent a procedure on his knee in September 2008 while in the Mariners' system.

Clement finished the season with a .201 batting average, three homers, seven doubles and 12 RBIs in 144 at-bats with Pittsburgh.