BRADENTON, Fla. – Josh Bell is currently in week three of his 2-4 week rehab program following minor knee surgery. According to Todd Tomczyk, the Pirates Head Athletic Trainer, Bell is “slightly ahead of schedule”. He was cleared for on-field baseball activities this week, which included hitting and fielding.

“He’s in a really good spot,” Tomczyk said.

The Pirates are still evaluating whether Bell can be ready by Opening Day, but it would be difficult to imagine him missing the start of the year when he’s already practicing and with the season over a month away. Currently, the only thing Bell can’t do is run at full speed, so he’s not ready to play in games just yet.

In other injury updates, Tomczyk said that Francisco Cervelli is participating in modified baseball activities, and has been increasing his volume and intensity of work each day. He’s dealing with right foot discomfort, which has been going on for the last 3-4 days, and the Pirates have not been more specific than that. An indicator of his status might be whether he can play for his WBC team in early March. The Pirates haven’t been committed to that just yet.

“We’d like to see him work out fully with the team first, and Francisco understands that,” Tomczyk said. “So we’re still working through that.”

Finally, right-handed pitcher Jason Stoffel, who signed as a minor league free agent this offseason, is in the advanced phases of his throwing buildup, and should throw on the field in the coming days.