A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett’s elbow “is the best it’s felt in a long, long time”

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A.J. Burnett is on the disabled list with an elbow injury and has said repeatedly that he plans to retire after the season, so the Pirates right-hander is working hard to make it back in September.

Burnett threw a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated game Tuesday and told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that his elbow “is the best it’s felt in a long, long time.”

Brink reports that he’ll throw another simulated game Sunday, at which point the Pirates should have a better idea about Burnett’s potential return timetable following a platelet-rich plasma injection to aid the healing process.

Burnett made the All-Star team by going 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA in the first half, but the 38-year-old struggled in three second-half starts before being shut down.