The Pirates on Wednesday announced that rookie first baseman Josh Bell will miss the next two to four weeks after undergoing left knee surgery. Bell underwent the procedure to remove a loose body that was causing him pain during his offseason workouts. The release also says that Bell’s status for Opening Day is “to be determined.”

That bit of uncertainty isn’t a good thing for the Pirates, who begin the season April 3 in Boston. Bell, who put up an OPS+ of 107 in 45 games last season, is in line to be the Pirates’ starting first baseman and possible No. 2 hitter. He’s also a highly regarded prospect who has been a regular on overall top-100 lists for several years.

The Pirates have some depth at the position with John Jaso and David Freese on the active roster, but Bell’s upside is an important part of their 2017 hopes. A smooth recovery is certainly needed so that Bell can enjoy a full and relatively healthy campaign.

Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Pirates’ Josh Bell uncertain for Opening Day after undergoing knee surgery