The 2009 calendar year was one that saw half a dozen Buckeyes go under the knife or miss time for a variety of reasons due to injury.
As we're now less than a week away from Captain's Practice and Fall Ball in 8 days, here is where we stand.
Andrew Armstrong (Labrum) as mentioned Armstrong went under the knife to take care of his torn Labrum on July 23rd. The expected recovery time was 4-6 months. Nothing so far has appeared to set Armstrong back from a full recovery in 2010.
Brian DeLucia (Broken finger) DeLucia who broke a finger on his right hand in the season's second weekend taking infield during pregame would not return to the field for the Buckeyes in 2009, receiving a medical redshirt. DeLucia fully recovered in time for summer baseball, participated in the Valley League. The Watterson product hit .274 with three doubles, triples, and homers in process of being an All-Star for Rockbridge. A healthy DeLucia will be competing for a starting spot at the hot corner in a suddenly crowded infield. DeLucia has shown before his bat is hard to keep out of the line-up.
Brad Hallberg (Labrum) As DeLucia enters fall camp looking to lockdown the vacant third base position, so to does the Wisconsin native Hallberg. Early in the season Hallberg appeared in four games, collecing four hits in 10 at-bats before his season came to an early conclusion as well being the first of three Buckeyes to have labrum sugery on April 10th. Hallberg with 5 months to relax, rehab, and recoup heads into the Autumn ready to go. If Hallberg can come back and hit the way he did in the brief playing time, Hallberg might play a big role for the defending conference champs.
Michael Stephens (Bone chips, elbow cleaning) Stephens went under the knife in late June to clean out an elbow that was bothering him a bit. Stephens rehabbing back home in Southern California over the summer, returned to Columbus recently and is back to throwing while making a full recovery.
Eric Best (Labrum) Best like Armstrong went under the knife to take care of a labrum that began to fire up and cause issues. Best did not have the severity of tear that Armstrong did, but none the less it was determined he was best-suited to get it out of the way, and be able to pitch in 2010 at 100%. Best was pitching with the Licking County Settlers before having his summer end prematurely, and was pitching quite well. In limiting his walks, and locating his off-speed pitches, Best was 3-0, showing stuff that can prove more than effect and invaluable in the Buckeyes hopes of reaching Omaha.
Ross Oltorik (Elbow bursitis) As mentioned in his Q&A Oltorik's 2009 campaign came to an end in early May as he battled a case of bursitis. Oltorik did not participate in summer baseball deciding to rest his arm and work with a pitching coach. In what might have been the biggest news related to the reaching all set goals in 2010, Oltorik decided to hang up the football cleats. With the pigskin away for now, Oltorik will be entering his first autumn practices. For a team with two pitchers currently out, and a staff in need much depth having Oltorik around this fall is a huge plus.