Pirates GM Neal Huntington said Sunday he still believes Kang (knee) is on pace to return by late April. "He'll play in extended spring training, then work his way through the system before coming back to Pittsburgh," he said during his weekly radio show.

The front office continues to be encouraged by Kang's progress, though the Bucs still won't permit the infielder to make hard turns or run the bases. Huntington noted how Kang was allowed to jog around the bases in a minor-league scrimmage -- but only after hitting a homer. For his part, Kang had talked about returning in time for Opening Day on several occasions in the offseason, but right now he'll be fortunate to get back before May.

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