BRADENTON, Fla. -- Right-hander A.J. Burnett returned to Florida on Saturday to the Pirates spring training clubhouse at McKechnie Field. There he was greeted by his teammates just eight days after undergoing right eye surgery in Pittsburgh.

"We’re happy to have him back,"  Bucs Manager Clint Hurdle said. "Everything is moving as well as we could hope for it to. The guys were very respective when he showed up in the clubhouse today. I think he’s got a little bounce in his step as well."

Burnett has been cleared to begin the second portion of his return to pitch program.  After arriving to Bradenton, Burnett began his re-conditioning program after follow-up exams in the morning. Prior to meeting with the media during the Pirates 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, Burnett said he worked ...

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