PITTSBURGH -- One of America's best-known sports doctors was pressed into service by the Pittsburgh Pirates for an unusual patient. Dr. Freddie Fu of UPMC operated on a mandrill monkey from the Pittsburgh Zoo to repair a partially torn ACL so that he can join the starting lineup of the Pittsburgh Pirates in time for Sunday's game. Pirate GM Dave Littlefield explained that Pirates scouts have been following the monkey since last year and are satisfied he can make an immediate contribution to the team. "This is the monkey we've wanted all along," Littlefield said. "And we'll get him soon, with a little help from Dr. Fu."

"He bats left, throws right, you should see him scamper around the bases," gushed Littlefield. "One of our trainers had a radar gun on him and saw this guy throw his feces in the mid-90's. He's getting better with a ball, too, because Jim Tracy has been working with him every day -- they're on the same wavelength." Littlefield refused to say how much the Pirates will pay the animal, but while the interview was progressing a station wagon full of bananas pulled into the hospital parking lot.

The Pirates also reportedly have their eye on a utility orangutan currently at the Detroit Zoo. "He's a powerful little guy," said one trainer. "A little wild. We might have to send him down to Ringling Brothers to work on his mechanics."