PITTSBURGH -- Righty James McDonald will not throw for two to three weeks after receiving a second opinion on his shoulder from Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas. McDonald has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 7 with stiffness in his right shoulder.
After resting for at least two weeks, McDonald will build up the strength in his arm again, starting with long toss, catch and bullpen sessions. He will likely be out until late August, at the earliest. McDonald said his shoulder is fine structurally, which was "relieving" to hear, since it means he won't need any extensive surgery.
"It [stinks] that you have to be out," McDonald said. "But it's good news to hear that."
McDonald struggled in the first month of the season, allowing 19 earned runs, 29 hits and 20 walks to 25 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over six starts.
He sought a second opinion because the shoulder wasn't getting any better after six rehab starts in late May into June. He said he "rushed back" that time.
Pirates starters ranked third in baseball in ERA (3.31) and first in opponent's batting average (.233) entering play Wednesday.
"You want to get on the field, you want to perform," McDonald said. "You see what these guys are doing. I'm looking every day, checking to see what they're doing, excited to contribute. But I've got to rehab, get ready."
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.