BRADENTON, Fla. -- It is certainly a coincidence, but Jeff Karstens and Kyle McPherson, who found themselves two lockers apart when the Bucs moved back into McKechnie Field on Friday, share more than a locker-room neighborhood.
McPherson's winter league stint in the Dominican Republic was cut short by the same biceps tendinitis with which Karstens is now dealing.
Every situation is different, but McPherson, who made one start for Licey on Oct. 16 before having to shut himself down, said he didn't feel completely recovered until early February.
"It felt cranky when I got down there, but I tried to pitch through it," said McPherson, himself a candidate for the Pirates' rotation. "It bothered me the one game I did start, and when I threw a bullpen preparing for my next start, it hadn't recovered and I didn't want to take unnecessary risks in the offseason.
"I just wanted to shut it down and prepare for the season. I got down here in December and was still a little bit behind schedule and played catchup all January. But since camp began, I've been on a regular schedule, no problems."
Karstens' issue arose earlier this week, throughout which he has spent getting therapy and playing flat-ground catch. He starts off his days with a hot pack wrapped around his right shoulder -- as does McPherson.