By Rich Walsh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pirates are on the verge of their second consecutive post season appearance, but for manager Clint Hurdle pain has come with joy after every win.

Clint Hurdle has been battling a hip problem all season that will require surgery. However, he’s not going anywhere with the Pittsburgh Pirates closing in on a second consecutive trip to the MLB postseason.

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“Anybody that’s ever had an arthritic hip or knee knows it’s a slippery slope,” Hurdle said.

Hurdle has been literally trying to walk that slope this entire season. Just about every trip out to the mound has been a difficult one. Hurdle has needed hip replacement surgery since the offseason.

“It was a situation I discussed with our medical team that I thought we could manage,” Hurdle said. “This one didn’t work out anywhere near as close to how we thought it would work out. It got dramatically worse, quicker than anticipated. It’s very arthritic, it’s bone on bone.”

It’s even hard for Hurdle to walk a few steps from the clubhouse into his office. Every night Pirates fans can see the obvious pain he’s in walking out to the mound for a pitching change or just sitting in the dugout during the game.

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“I get the comments a lot. ‘I can’t stand to watch you walk your walk.’ I said, ‘Well God bless you, please stop watching because this is all I got right now,’” Hurdle said.

Despite the bad hip, he has his team primed for a second consecutive postseason appearance.

“I try to be a thermostat and set the tone for everybody. I’ve just prayed for strength and courage to burn my own personal pains so my pain doesn’t become a burden for others. I think we’ve all been in situations where people can be in pain and really challenge people around them. I can’t be that guy. I [have] to be on the top of things. I’ve got to be clear-minded. I’ve got to be upbeat,” he said.

So, there’s no way the Bucs’ manager can leave his post now and take care of his hip problem.

However, he does have plans to have surgery and even has a date in mind.

“I’m going to get it taken care of 72 hours after we win the World Series,” Hurdle said.

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