By Rich Walsh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Starling Marte is back in Pittsburgh with his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs coming to an end.

Marte is not officially back from his suspension until Tuesday, but was at PNC Park on Monday, taking batting practice and getting comfortable with being back in the Pirates clubhouse.

He is set to return to the field on Tuesday as the Pirates continue a crucial four-game homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers.

He couldn’t rejoin the team Monday because he still had one game of his 80-game suspension to sit out.

Instead, Marte met with most of his teammates and apologized.

He says he regrets what he did, doesn’t want to be a distraction and wants to move on for his teammates and the fans and help the Pirates win.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Marte spoke through his translator Mike Gonzalez.

“I do not want to be a distraction to my team,” Marte said. “If anything, starting today, tomorrow when I put on that uniform, I want to represent this team. I don’t want to be a distraction anymore and I want to honor and respect this organization the way that it deserves.”

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Marte still contends he didn’t know that he took steroids. He said he wasn’t careful enough.

“I really learned a lot and I’ve learned a huge lesson behind that. However, my goal now is, like I mentioned before, regain that trust. When it comes to substances, always revise things with my trainers here in the Pirates organization first and just continue moving forward. But I can tell you, I’ve always been careful, somewhere, somehow I became careless and for that I’m regretful.”

Meanwhile, Marte is expected to be back in left field when he returns to the field Tuesday night.

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