ST. LOUIS -- Charlie Morton is on his way back to Pittsburgh -- not yet to pitch, but to consult with Pirates staff on how and when that can happen.
Morton, in the home stretch of recovering from his late-September labrum surgery, had his next rehab outing slightly altered. It will still take place on Saturday and still consist of seven "ups" or 90 pitches -- but instead of taking the mound for Class A Advanced Bradenton, he will throw in a sim game at Pirate City.
"We wanted to stay in control of the environment and the tempo, give him one more extended opportunity to be focused on making pitches," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Morton is expected to rejoin the Bucs when they return from this road trip to open a six-game stand in PNC Park on Tuesday.
"We'll talk to him, find out how and what he's feeling," Hurdle said. "And we'll have him throw a bullpen [in PNC Park], see where we are."
Morton took his regular turns during Spring Training, and the decision to place him on the disabled list was not made until his final, ill-fated exhibition outing in Philadelphia on April 4.
"He never felt right in Spring Training," general manager Neal Huntington said. "His body just didn't function the way he was used to. He's been feeling more like himself."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.