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New father Morton working hard on comeback trail

New father Morton working hard on comeback trail

MILWAUKEE -- Charlie Morton is on a detailed, meticulous two-lane rehab road, making his way back from Tommy John surgery 11 months ago and a more recent case of shoulder discomfort.

Morton does his work diligently. He doesn't look for, nor wants to accept, any excuse to skip a scheduled routine. It just so happened that wife Cindy's medical team scheduled a C-section delivery for Thursday, the same day Morton was due to pitch a bullpen session at PNC Park.

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Morton sought out manager Clint Hurdle on Wednesday -- to reassure him he'd be taking that turn.

"I need to stay on schedule," Morton told Hurdle.

"But isn't your wife having the C-section?" Hurdle asked.

"I think I'll be able to get here to throw the 'pen. I'll make it," Morton said.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Morton was on the phone to Hurdle in the Pirates' clubhouse.

"I don't think I'll make it," he said.

"What?" Hurdle said, with mock anger. "You said you'll be here at 11. We're all waiting on you."

Charles Alfred Morton V was born Thursday morning, a healthy 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches. It's the couple's first child.

Morton threw his bullpen Friday morning in PNC Park.

"They said he looked like he hadn't had a whole lot of sleep the last day and a half," Hurdle said, grinning.

Morton will make his next rehab start on Sunday, for Triple-A Indianapolis in Buffalo. He is slated to go six innings or 90 pitches. If he stays on schedule, he will make one more rehab start on May 31, then join the Bucs.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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