Following surgery, Morton likely to miss start of next season

Following surgery, Morton likely to miss start of next season

CINCINNATI -- Charlie Morton underwent his anticipated right hip surgery on Friday, and he is likely to miss the start of the 2015 season.

Dr. Thomas Byrd of Nashville, Tenn., the same surgeon who operated on Morton's left hip three years ago, performed Friday's procedure to repair the labrum in his right hip.

At the long end of the estimated six-to-eight month recovery period for such a procedure, Morton's rehab would keep the right-hander sidelined until the end of May. Following the Oct. 11, 2011, procedure on his left hip, Morton was able to merge into the Pirates' rotation by the second week of the '12 season.

Morton had been bothered by inflammation in the hip -- alternately diagnosed as a sports hernia -- since early June, although he continued to take his regular turns in the rotation until the condition began to affect his performance in mid-August.

Morton attempted a mid-September comeback, pitching five shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over Boston on Sept. 16. His discomfort subsequently worsened, and he was ruled out for the rest of the year. The Pirates placed him on the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, which cleared a spot on their 40-man roster.

The 2014 season was the first on the three-year, $21 million contract agreed to last winter between the Bucs and Morton.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.