PITTSBURGH -- Six days after pulling up lame after delivering a pitch and strolling gingerly from the PNC Park mound to the dugout, Jeff Karstens will be taking his regular pitching turn on Friday against the Brewers at Miller Park.
All his medical tests since being forced from Saturday's game by a strain in his left-groin area have been clean, and Karstens' regular between-starts routine -- which included a bullpen session on Tuesday -- has gone smoothly.
"Relieved? Yes, but I still don't know," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's trying to be as up front with us as he can be, and is doing what he needs to get ready to start. We'll see where that takes us."
Karstens will have a rematch with the Milwaukee club he had blanked for seven innings on Saturday before the forced exit. It sounds as though Hurdle will overreact on the side of caution and have someone, most likely Kevin Correia, on early standby in the bullpen for Karstens' start.
"You can't recreate game adrenaline and the game experience," Hurdle said. "[Karstens] can do things and run around on the field and throw a bullpen and have his activity level monitored. ... But you can't know until he gets out on the mound. So we'll wait and see."
A.J. Burnett and James McDonald are due to follow Karstens to the hill for the final two games of the Pirates' last 2012 visit to Milwaukee.