Mississippi State outfielder C.T. Bradford is officially out for the season, having undergone surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday, his father said tonight.
Bradford, a sophomore center fielder, separated his non-throwing shoulder on March 7 against Penn State when he dove into a base. After missing several games to rehab the shoulder, he came back March 23 and played through some pain and discomfort, but he never really looked himself.
"He couldn't swing a bat, he couldn't pull with his right arm through the zone when he swung a bat," said his dad, Mike Bradford. "He couldn't get around on a hard fastball, and he couldn't prepare for a breaking pitch. The only pitch he could hit was an 88-mph fastball, and those were few and far between."
Then on April 28, against Ole Miss, Bradford had a violent collision with right fielder Brent Brownlee as the two chased down a fly ball. Bradford has been out since then, and the family finally made the decision to have surgery done at the Andrews Institute in Pensacola, Fla., near his hometown of Pace.
"Extremely tough decision," Mike Bradford said. "He did want to play. He will get back with the team just as soon as he can recover to the point of knowing what he's doing. He'll be back with them for the Kentucky series (next week). Tough decision. Really tough, but we feel like we all made the right move."
Mike Bradford said the collision with Brownlee dislocated the shoulder again, and while C.T. could have gone through rehab again, he would not have been done in time to contribute this season. MSU coach John Cohen said Wednesday that he was expected Bradford to undergo the procedure.
"I don't believe it was more damage, I think with it coming out a second time it was much looser," Mike said. "He couldn't do some things he'd done after the first rehab. That's why the decision was made to go forward with surgery now."
Bradford batted .258 with 19 runs scored and 17 RBIs in 32 games this season. His recovery from surgery is expected to take about four months.
"He'll be ready to go next fall, and knowing C.T., he'll be ready to roll, no doubt," Mike Bradford said.
No. 25 MSU (30-18, 12-12 SEC) plays at No. 6 Florida (36-13, 14-10) in a three game series starting Friday in Gainesville.