Injury Updates: Gerrit Cole Dealing With Inflammation in His Right Ribs

BRADENTON, FL. – The first workouts of the year for pitchers and catchers also brought the first injury updates of the year. Among those injury updates was news that Gerrit Cole is currently dealing with inflammation in his mid-right rib area.

“He had a little bit of right rib inflammation during a training session in mid-January,” Pirates’ head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said. “He’s playing catch on flat ground, without any restrictions. We anticipate getting him off the slope on Monday.”

Both Tomczyk and Cole described the injury as a “training injury” and said that Cole is on a slightly modified throwing schedule.

“It was just something that kept nagging, and we needed to kind of address, so that we could get both feet on the ground when we got out here,” Cole said. “Moving in the right direction.”

As for whether this could impact Cole for the start of the season, it was something Cole wasn’t focused on at this point.

“I’m just trying to execute the throwing program right now,” Cole said. “I think we get off the mound early next week. Really, that’s kind of all my focus is on right now.”

Cole said that he’s not too far behind everyone else, and that he feels good. He also said that this isn’t prohibiting him from throwing, and he doesn’t feel it in the area.

Here are the other injury updates from Tomczyk:

**I provided a detailed update on Nick Kingham the other day, but I asked Tomczyk if they anticipated a conservative schedule for Kingham. His response: “As UCL reconstruction surgeries continue to become more and more, I wouldn’t term it as conservative. We’re seeing 14-16 months is the general timeframe for these guys. Every rehab is individualized. You can very easily clump everyone together in the 14-16 month, but some take that time, some take longer.”

**Tomczyk wouldn’t commit to Jung-ho Kang being ahead of schedule or ready for Opening Day.

“He’s still falling in to that six to eight month range,” Tomczyk said. “That will put us sometime in April.”

One of the big steps of Kang’s rehab will be when he transitions to being able to cut while running and run the bases. There is no timeline yet for that transition, as the Pirates take Kang’s rehab on a day-to-day basis.

**The Pirates traded for Jesse Biddle from the Phillies earlier this month, although he will be out for the season after undergoing Tommy John in October. He’s not throwing at the moment, but should start throwing off flat grounds sometime in mid-March.

**Antoan Richardson, who the Pirates signed as a minor league free agent this off-season, is currently out with a right foot fracture. He won’t be at full baseball activity when camp opens for position players next week, and the Pirates anticipate that to happen in mid-to-late March. The injury happened with his old team from running. He had surgery in the off-season to stabilize the fracture.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Mike Shutlock

Is it just me or does Garret look like he’s in incredible shape? He just seemed a little bit more round in the past.


Just hope it’s not related to oblique injury…
Nothing good comes with inflammation.
I don’t buy trainer all will be good talk.


Am I the only yinzer who reads Todd Tomczyk but thinks:

Cole V

Every. Time.

Blaine Huff

Nope…had to reread the line when I saw the name.

dr dng


Chris M

It’s real early but definitely concerning, especially with the state of the rotation in general.


I’m glad that I’m not the only one that threw up in their mouth when they read this…

Bill W

Kang gives me the most concern.

John Dreker

Kang has looked good in the videos we have posted. Running in the outfield, taking grounders for the last week and making throws now, plus he’s swinging in the batting cages. I guess it could be more concerning than Cole, because Cole might be nothing with so much time left before Opening Day. With two days off the first week of the season, a little behind might amount to a different slot in the rotation and no missed starts.

Maybe if someone has Opening Day tickets and really wanted to see Cole make that start, then there could be some worry at this point. I’m sure a lot of humans fall into that Opening Day/Cole category.


God no


The season is over, trade Cutch NOW

michael t

BEFORE he tweaks his knee

Luke S

Everyone panic.


Imagine the panic if Tim’s headline had simply read “Gerrit Cole dealing with inflammation”


It wouldn’t be the clickbatiest headline in the site’s history (I remember one being written intentionally so as a bit of a joke, I think), but the clicks would have been baited nonetheless. Panicked, sweaty clicks, the lot of them.

dr dng

Imagine the panic if Tim’s next headline is Liriano has a sore left toe.

Michael Sanders

Imagine if Tim made a typo and wrote decapitation instead of inflammation?

michael t

or “Locke Despondent Over Loss of Mentor AJ”

dr dng

Michael its a multiple choice question:
a) Locke pitches better without AJ around
b) Locke does not pitch as well without AJ around
c) Does not make a difference.


michael t

More likely:
a) Roots Sports Cameras No Longer Focus on Locke/AJ Man Crush
b) Locke Blames 5th Inning Collapses on Bad Breaks, Misses AJ
c) Locke Moves to Bullpen as Top Prospect Taillon is Promoted
d) Locke Traded For Class A Prospect
e) All of the Above


We already saw the answer in 2014 – c

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