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Moss done for year — maybe much longer

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MILWAUKEE — Outfielder Brandon Moss will miss the rest of the season — and perhaps as much as the next eight months — with a knee problem.

Monday, Moss had an MRI in Pittsburgh. Dr. Patrick DeMeo, the team doctor, told Moss a divot is forming in the bone of his left knee. DeMeo recommended surgery, which would mean two months on crutches and another four to six months of rehab.

“The results that came back caught me off guard,” Moss said. “It hasn’t bothered me since June, when I was playing for the Red Sox in Tampa.”

Moss will return to Pittsburgh tomorrow to confer again with DeMeo, then go to Vail, Colo., to get a second opinion form orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman.

– Adam LaRoche’s sore hamstring is better, but manager John Russell gave him today off anyway. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to finish the season,” Russell said. “The extra day off should really help.”

– The arbitration hearing today for the union’s grievance against MLB was postponed, as the Pirates continue to hammer out the details of their revised contract with Pedro Alvarez.

GM Neal Huntington will join up with the team here tomorrow and make the rest of the season-ending road trip. The Alvarez situation should be in much sharper focus by the time he gets here.

The amount of Alvarez’s signing bonus — $6 million — will not change. However, the Pirates now will pay it in four installments of $1.5 million each, the first on Dec. 24, then three more annually beginning June 15, 2009. Previously, Alvarez was to be paid in two chunks, with both coming in a three-month span.

– The Brewers, in the thick of the wild card chase, still have not set their starting pitchers for Thursday’s games. CC Sabathia will pitch tomorrow on three days’ rest. Ben Sheets is expected to go Thursday.

– The San Diego Padres out not in any kind of playoff hunt, but they also have listed TBA for their starters this weekend. The Pirates will go with Ian Snell, Jimmy Barthmaier and Ross Ohlendorf in the season finale.

Lineups for today’s game:

PIRATES — Morgan LF, Sanchez 2B, McLouth CF, Doumit C, Mientkiewicz 1B, Pearce RF, Andy LaRoche 3B, Cruz SS, Karstens (2-6, 4.37) RHP

BREWERS — Cameron CF, Durham 2B, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, Hardy CF, Hart RF, Counsell 3B, Kendall C, Bush (9-10, 4.22) RHP

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