Draft update: Matt Purke and other injury news

TCU will be issuing a statement today officially clearing lefty Matt Purke to make his way back to the mound, I have learned.

The draft-eligible sophomore who was a first-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2009, but chose to go to college instead, had been shut down by a sore left shoulder. He went to see renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews who diagnosed Purke with bursitis.

The plan will be to shut down Purke for now, have him rehab his shoulder and then begin throwing on flat ground, likely next week. The hope is that he’ll be back before conference tournament play — perhaps getting two starts in — and ready to really go full-tilt during the tournament, which begins on May 24.

There’s been a lot of speculation about Purke and his prized left arm for much of the 2011 season. Some scouts felt something wasn’t quite right all season, and there were some people who questioned the validity of reports about a blister shutting Purke down in the early part of the season, thinking perhaps that it was a cover for the shoulder. Someone familiar with the situation assured Purke did indeed have a nasty blister and that his shoulder didn’t bother him until after he returned. It’s possible that the 10 days he had to take off from throwing to let the blister heal contributed to the shoulder issue he’s now dealing with.

How this impacts his Draft status remains to be seen, as shoulders always do make teams wary. If Purke can come back and look like the guy many felt was the top left-hander in the class before the year began, he could regain some of that status.

In other injury news, University of South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. hurt his wrist diving for a ball in the outfield last Saturday. It now appears the toolsy Bradley will have surgery on the wrist on Friday. Most feel that will end his season, but as Bradley stated on his Twitter account (@JackieBradleyJr) “We will all witness this together. Surgery is Friday so then we will start the calendar. #MiraculousHealing” Bradley is hoping he can prove people wrong and make it back in time for postseason play for the highly-ranked Gamecocks. Bradley hadn’t been hitting all that well, but those who believe in his tools will likely be willing to take him where they originally had him prior to this injury.

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