PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Facing an injury scare to his throwing arm last week, Pirates starter AJ Burnett was able to breathe a small sigh of relief after his doctor informed him Monday that MRI results returned non-career-threatening damage.

Burnett, 38, was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right elbow and should be out four weeks, but, said Burnett, “Could be before, could be after.”

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The right-handed veteran, who is 33rd on baseball’s career strikeouts list (2,480), said he acknowledged the possibility that the injury would put a lid on his career. That’s why he felt encouraged by the diagnosis.

“This is the news you want to get back on the mound,” Burnett said. “If it’s anything ligament-wise, then I’d have to re-consider.”

Burnett received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his arm before leaving the doctor Monday to speed up the recovery process. Burnett’s injury is the same one that former Pirate All-Star Jason Grilli sustained in July of 2013.

The strain sidelined Grilli for six weeks before he returned from the disabled list. He pitched for the Pirates in September and in the playoffs.

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“This is the news I [was hoping for] because guys have come back from this,” Burnett said.

Burnett announced shortly after signing with the Pirates last fall that he’d retire following the 2015 season, and he reaffirmed his word, regardless of whether he does finishes this season at full health.

“This is my last year,” Burnett said prior to the Pirates Monday matchup against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

Nine weeks remain in the regular season.

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