BRADENTON, Fla. – Austin Meadows was hit in the face last week after a ball deflected off another player’s glove and skipped up, hitting him below the eye. He saw Dr. Randall Beatty in Pittsburgh this week, who confirmed that the outfielder had suffered a fracture of his orbital bone. Meadows will undergo surgery later this week or early next week, according to Pirates’ Head Athletic Trainer Todd Tomczyk. As for a potential return, there is currently no timetable until after the procedure.
“Once the surgery happens, we’ll have a better idea,” Tomczyk said.
I talked with Meadows last week, before he went to Pittsburgh. His vision was fine at the time, and he had some bruising below his eye, while wearing a protective lens.
Here are the other updates from Tomczyk:
**Jung-ho Kang’s goal this week is to change directions on the field with the glove. This is an increase from his fielding work before, when he would mostly stand still, field balls, and throw to first. He’s not there yet with running the bases, which is usually the final step in a player’s rehab before he can return to games. As for his recover, Tomczyk had a lot of praise for his rehab approach.
“I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of professional baseball players,” Tomczyk said. “By far, Jung-ho is probably the most diligent, the hardest working player that we’ve had the pleasure of working through rehab. He continues to make strides every single week and every single day.”
**Nick Kingham continues his mound progression that I reported on last week. Tomczyk said that the typical timeline for this is 2-3 weeks, but said it’s different for each player. Kingham said last week that he expects to be throwing twice a week for six weeks.
**Cory Luebke will get into his first Spring Training game later this week.
**Robert Zarate, who has elbow soreness, is throwing off flat ground.
**Antoan Richardson will be playing in a Triple-A game today at Pirate City.