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03/28/08 1:30 PM ET

Duffy to stay in extended spring camp

Pirates center fielder will start season on disabled list

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Unable to play in the field, rehabbing Pirates center fielder Chris Duffy will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list and remain in Florida for extended Spring Training.

The news came as no surprise, considering Duffy has spent the entire duration of Spring Training sidelined with left shoulder discomfort. The 27-year-old had surgery on that shoulder at the end of last August.

Duffy has continued to increase how far and hard he throws. He has, however, been unable to get an adequate number of at-bats during his rehabilitation process since the discomfort in his shoulder only flares up when he throws.

Duffy finally feels he is progressing. He threw at a distance of about 110-115 feet Friday and reported no pain or discomfort afterward. That's a stark contrast to two weeks earlier, when he said he felt he had taken a step back in his rehabilitation process.

"[Friday] was probably the best day I've had throwing," said Duffy, who has been sidelined by the injury since the end of last June. "I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere. I'm to the point where I can start thinking about the word 'game.'"

There is no timetable set for Duffy's stay in extended Spring Training, and general manager Neal Huntington said the organization has not determined where Duffy will go for his rehab assignment.

It's seems most likely that Duffy would return to Triple-A Indianapolis to be in the Indians' starting outfield once he is healthy enough to play defense regularly.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.