As the Pittsburgh Pirates stumble, it’s hard not to think they might have been able to hold on to some of that April magic had Oneil Cruz not gotten hurt.
Pittsburgh’s star shortstop and leadoff hitter remains out after fracturing his ankle on April 9. The initial timetable for recovery was four months, leaving the door open for a return this season – perhaps even before September.
Things continue to move in the right direction in Cruz’ recovery, Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Tuesday in his weekly appearance on “The Cook and Joe Show.”
“Cruzy is doing well. His rehab is going -- the best I can put it is deliberate, because that’s what it is,” Shelton said. “We are still a ways away, we’re still targeting that four-month mark. He’s still on crutches. Until we get into actual movement, baseball activities besides just general PT, I think we’ll have a better idea of where he’s at and when he’s going to be available to us.”
The Pirates said shortly after Cruz got hurt that they didn’t expect it would impact his ability to remain at shortstop long-term.
When Cruz returns, there likely will be some rust, as expected. But from a long-term health standpoint, the team doesn’t see the injury as something that should cast any sort of doubt on his potential.
“There’s no concern on our end. We think he’s going to be the same guy,” Shelton said. “And again, once we get him into the (place) where he’s weight-bearing and starting to move around, I think we’ll have a better indication of where it’s at and what we’re doing. But for right now, from all the updates we’ve gotten from our medical group and from doctors, we expect him to be the same guy.”
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