PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Starling Marte is about to take another step toward returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup.

Marte is currently serving an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s Join Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He is eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18.

Marte began a minor league rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton over the weekend. Now, he is set to join the Indianapolis Indians in Triple-A.

In April, MLB announced that Marte tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone. Marte’s last game with the Pirates was April 17. He is hitting .241 with two homers and two stolen bases.

Marte was an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2016 and moved from left field to center field in the off-season after winning his second Gold Glove.

Following the positive test, Marte issued the following statement:

“I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job. In this very difficult moment, I apologize to my family, the Pittsburgh Pirates, my teammates, my fans, and baseball in general. Neglect and lack of knowledge have led me to this mistake with the high price to pay of being away from the field that I enjoy and love so much. With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much. I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me. God bless you.”

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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