February 01, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman/outfielder Josh Bell underwent left knee surgery on Wednesday and could miss the start of spring training later this month.

Bell told the team last month he was dealing with discomfort in the knee. Team doctors recommended surgery to remove a loose body they believe was causing the problem. Bell is expected to return to baseball activities in two to four weeks. Position players are scheduled to report for spring training on Feb. 16, with their first workout on Feb. 17.

The 24-year-old Bell, a second-round pick by the Pirates in 2011, hit .273 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 45 games for the Pirates in 2016 after making his big-league debut on July 8. He is expected to compete for playing time at first, though he also saw time in right field last season.

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