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Hanrahan will miss start of season

Right-hander Joel Hanrahan, who’s a big part of the bullpen plans, will miss the start of the season due to elbow pain.

Hanrahan first was bothered by the pain in his elbow and tightness in his forearm last August, but pitched through it. It flared up again in mid-January, during minicamp. The condition did not improve, so the Pirates ordered an MRI about 10 days ago. The exam showed inflammation, but no structural damage. Hanrahan has been shut down — no throwing, no weight lifting — ever since.

“I felt good coming into minicamp, but probably cranked it up a little too much,” Hanrahan said.

Another MRI will be taken Tuesday. Hanrahan also is scheduled to visit orthopedist Dr. James Andrews next week.

The Pirates also revealed that infielder Ramon Vazquez had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee in November, and might  miss the start of the regular season. Vazquez sustained the injury Aug. 9 in the game against the St. Louis Cardinals. “I had pain the whole time I was running to first base,” said Vazquez, who played the rest of the season with the injury.

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