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Pirates' McCutchen has fractured rib

<p>Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington announced Tuesday that center fielder Andrew McCutchen is dealing with a fractured left rib, though the reigning National League MVP will avoid a stint on the disabled list for now.</p>

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington announced Tuesday that center fielder Andrew McCutchen is dealing with a fractured left rib, though the reigning National League MVP will avoid a stint on the disabled list for now.

The injury, which Huntington termed to be an avulsion fracture involving the costochondral cartilage of his 11th rib, forced McCutchen to exit the Pirates' contest at Arizona on Sunday. The All-Star outfielder winced in pain while running to first base after delivering a game-tying sacrifice fly in the eighth inning of Pittsburgh's eventual 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, then walked slowly into the clubhouse while being assisted.

It is unclear as to whether or not McCutchen initially broke his ribs while being hit in the back by a pitch from Arizona's Randall Delgado in the ninth inning of Saturday's matchup between the teams. The act was in apparent retaliation for Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt breaking his hand when struck by a pitch by the Pirates' Ernesto Frieri in Friday's series opener.

McCutchen did have three at-bats without incident prior to leaving Sunday's game on his fourth trip to the plate.

The Pirates have yet to determine a timetable for how long McCutchen, who currently ranks fourth in the NL with a .311 average and 67 RBI, will be sidelined. He is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against Miami.

"We want to take the appropriate time to make the best possible decision for Andrew and for the Pirates," said Huntington. "We will have an additional updates as applicable."

The Pirates are presently right in the thick of both the NL Central and Wild Card races, trailing first-place Milwaukee by just 1 1/2 games in the division and entering play Tuesday only a half-game behind St. Louis for the final Wild Card spot.

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