© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

12/08/08 11:29 PM EST

Dumatrait behind schedule, Moss ahead

Lefty limited after shoulder surgery; outfielder's knee improves

LAS VEGAS -- In addition to addressing issues specifically concerning the Pirates' potential level of activity at the Winter Meetings this week, general manager Neal Huntington also took time on Monday to provide an update on the status of both Phil Dumatrait and Brandon Moss, both of whom are still recovering from injuries.

Early last month, Huntington expressed optimism that Dumatrait would be ready to begin playing catch by the end of November. That would have then put the left-hander on track to be throwing off a mound by the end of the year.

However, Dumatrait, who underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in early August, has not progressed into his throwing program as quickly as expected. If there are no further setbacks, Dumatrait should still be ready to compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training. But now the Pirates don't have the luxury of much more additional rehabilitation time for Dumatrait at this point.

"He's a little behind ideally what we were hoping he would be," Huntington said. "We can't afford another two-or-three-week setback."

If Dumatrait does delay his return-to-the-mound program much longer, he will have to come into Spring Training as a bullpen option at best. He will not be participating in the team's January mini-camp, though he will have the benefit of this year's extra week of Spring Training.

Concerning Moss, the Pirates received an encouraging report from team medical director Patrick DeMeo, who recently saw Moss in Pittsburgh.

Since having a diagnostic scope done on his left knee after the season ended, Moss has progressed as expected. Assuming that there are no unforeseen setbacks, he should be recovered in time to participate in Spring Training and be ready to play Opening Day. Right now, Moss is still penciled in one of the team's three starting outfielders.

"We feel like he should be protected, but ready to go during Spring Training," Huntington said. "We'll monitor the pounding on the knee and will monitor how he progresses."

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