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Jared Hughes injury: Pirates reliever has lat strain

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Hughes, who has not pitched in a week, is day-to-day with a left lat strain, Stephen A. Nesbitt writes. Hughes has struggled this spring, allowing eight runs in 3.2 innings. He felt lat pain in his last outing. As Nesbitt notes, at least the lat strain is on the side opposite Hughes' throwing hand, but it's still an issue.

"You still do a lot with your left arm when you pitch, right?" Hughes said. "So when that arm comes through, it’s pretty painful. You’ve got to take care of that, find a way to treat it, get it healed then build it back up so it never happens again."

If Hughes needs to be placed on the DL once the season starts, that would open another spot in the Pirates' bullpen. There isn't much point speculating on that, though, until we know more about Hughes' health and see how the Bucs' rotation battle plays out.

In other injury news, Pirates trainer Todd Tomczyk says he is "not overly concerned" about the possibility of structural damage to Elias Diaz's sore right elbow. Also, Jung Ho Kang is now running on dirt while wearing spikes, but has not progressed to the point with his knee injury where he's running the bases in the usual way.