MLB Spring Training: A.J. Burnett Back with the Pittsburgh Pirates After Surgery

Tim Karan@timkaranContributor IIMarch 10, 2012

Pittsburgh Pirates offseason addition A.J. Burnett re-joined the team Saturday for spring training in Bradenton, Florida just a little over a week after surgery, according to the Associated Press

He made 50 throws in the bullpen and rode an exercise bike after getting the official okay to resume workouts.

"The first few (throws) were a little hairy, I'm not going to lie," Burnett told AP. "But it went fine. I've got a lot of catching up to do. I'm glad to be back down here with the guys."

The former New York Yankee went under the knife eight days ago to repair a fractured orbital bone around his right eye that the starting pitcher sustained during a now-infamous bunting drill on February 29.

Although it's a positive sign, Burnett is still expected to miss two to three months. If he had opted not to have surgery, doctors told him he would be at risk of developing double-vision down the road.

"For what I do, my eyesight is pretty important, so why take a chance of it not healing the right way?," said Burnett. "They could've let it heal, but there's a chance it wouldn't heal smooth, the eye wouldn't move right and there'd be double vision."

As for that fateful February day, Burnett said he won't dwell on it.

There's not much I could've done, other than pull the bat back. You can't look back at it. I had my day of tears, lying in the hotel room wondering why it happened. I'm over that now. I want to move in a positive direction and get back on the field.