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MSU baseball injury update: Bulldogs will be without Opening night SP, CF, 3B and RF for a couple weeks


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE -- The training room in the Mississippi State University baseball clubhouse is getting way too overcrowded for the coaching staff's liking.  


MSU coach John Cohen spoke with The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog after going with both sophomores C.T. Bradford and Daryl Norris to their MRI scan and results.  




To recap the injuries that occurred in last night's 10-6 victory over Penn State University, centerfielder C.T. Bradford suffered a separated shoulder sliding into the second base trying to stretch a base hit into a double. Bradford's injury is seen as less severe than Brent Brownlee suffered during opening day twoyears ago that kept him out for the entire year. Cohen said Bradford will be able to return to physical activity after 1-2 weeks of rest but when he'll be physically able to return to the lineup is obviously in doubt. 


"I think it's possible we could get CT back sooner because the shoulder injury wasn't as severe as we initially had thought," Cohen said.  




Senior outfielder Brent Brownlee, who suffered ligament damage to his knee two weeks ago, is scheduled to have surgery to repair the damage today and will be restricted from physical activity for at least 4-6 weeks and could be out of game action for much longer. Brownlee's surgery was scheduled to correct a grinding of his femur with his knee cap. Depending on how he recovers from the surgery, the rest of Brownlee's 2012 season could likely be in jeopardy. 


"He'll have to wait the 4-6 weeks before he can even start the rehab process of physical activity and so we're not sure how long before Brent will return," Cohen said. 




The major problem with Brownlee's injury is he's the backup centerfielder to Bradford. Therefore, sophomore Hunter Renfroe will likely be the starting centerfielder for MSU with both of them out of the lineup.  




Sophomore third baseman Daryl Norris fouled a ball off his knee last night against Penn State and Cohen said the kneecap actually popped out after the swing occurred. The knee cap injury did cause a stretching of the ligaments in the joint and Norris will be restricted from physical activity for 4-6 weeks. Again, when he'll be physical able to return to the lineup is unknown depending on how he handles the rehabiliation process.  


"I was told by our training staff that since this was such a freak injury, there's not a timetable for his return," Cohen said. "What we know about Daryl right now is he doesn't need surgery but the stretched knee ligament is a concern. It wasn't the best news possible."  




Redshirt sophomore Ben Bracewell's MRI scan from earlier this week was the lone positive from an injury aspect as the results showed no structural damage to the right-handers pitching elbow. The issue with Bracewell is the pain he continues to have in his arm days after his outings on the mound.  


"We;re going to be slow in getting Ben back on the mound," Cohen said. "The plan and schedule is to get Benny back for the SEC opening series at LSU." 


Bracewell's injury is not likely to mean junior right-hander Chris Stratton will get his first start on the mound this season. The MSU coaching staff and Stratton himself both are satisfied with having the Tupelo native be the first option out of the bullpen on Friday night's going forward this season and meetings at Dudy Noble Field will take place this week to find a starter for Stratton to pair with while Bracewell gets his arm loose in another throwing program. 




Cohen's tone and voice was obviously less than thrilled about the injuries that have popped up over the last two weekends of play. However, he stated his team has more pieces than in 2010 when it lost the opening day starting pitcher (Nick Routt), third baseman (Jarrod Parks), second baseman (Frankie Rawdow) and centerfielder (Brent Brownlee) before SEC play began. 


"We're going to learn about the makeup of our club right now," Cohen said. "We're going to have to pitch it better than anybody we face. It's frustrating for the coaching staff, the kids and the parents of these kids. It's not an excuse but we've got some holes to fill that's for certain." 




No. 23 Mississippi State (12-2) wraps up a 17-game season-opening homestand this weekend with a three-game series against Mercer University.  




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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