Hart, Veal on track, but not cleared to throw

Hart, Veal on track, but not cleared to throw

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As the Pirates' staff conducted the first official pitchers and catchers workout of Spring Training, only two players -- righty Kevin Hart and left-hander Donnie Veal -- remain limited in their initial spring workload.

Both Hart and Veal are on track in their recoveries from arm surgery. Neither, however, has been cleared to throw just yet.

The club had held out hope that Hart could be ready by Opening Day. That appears unlikely now, though the Bucs are not yet entirely ruling out the possibility.

Hart was recently reexamined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed the May 4 surgery that repaired a torn labrum in Hart's right shoulder, and gave the righty the green light to continue his rehab work. Hart is not ahead of schedule, but he is on track with a normal recovery.

"The window of opportunity was he had a very good chance to be ready by the end of Spring Training," general manager Neal Huntington said. "We're still in that window. Dr. Andrews wasn't concerned with where he was progression-wise."

When Veal underwent Tommy John surgery last June, he knew he was looking as a 12-18 month recovery period. The lefty has been progressing through his rehab program well, but he won't be spending much time on the field during camp. The Bucs' hope is that Veal will be ready to return sometime in May or June.

"The rehab is going great," Huntington said. "He feels great. The throwing program has gone very well for him. It would be very easy to speed it up, but he needs time to heal."