TCU first baseman Luken Baker suffered a hairline fracture, ligament damage and slight muscle tearing in his left arm when a baserunner ran into him last week at Oklahoma, but the Horned Frogs have not ruled him out for postseason.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said Baker will be fitted for a brace, and a second MRI will be taken Tuesday to see if the injury was not as severe as first believed.
“Austin O’Brien, the Oklahoma first baseman, had a similar injury — Baker’s is a little more extensive — but O’Brien was back in 23 days, so we’re holding out hope that he can play in a regional,” Schlossnagle said. “But we don’t know enough yet.
The Big 12 tournament begins May 24 in Oklahoma City, and the NCAA postseason begins with the regional rounds June 2-6.
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TCU hitter Luken Baker had started every game in his career with the Horned Frogs before missing Saturday and Sunday with the injury.
TCU (36-11) is in line to host a regional and earn a national seed. The Horned Frogs finished their Big 12 schedule at 16-8, leading the league. Only Texas Tech, with a sweep of Kansas at home this weekend, can tie the Frogs for first place.
Baker was hurt in the eighth inning of the series opener at Oklahoma on Friday night. The injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in Baker’s left elbow is the most serious, but it does not necessarily require surgery, which increases the likelihood Baker can return, Schlossnagle said.
“Obviously, in your throwing arm, it’s Tommy John,” Schlossnagle said. “But in the non-throwing arm, according to Dr. Conway, it’s not something they perform surgery on because it heals itself enough.”
Schlossnagle said Baker is doing fine mentally.
“He was certainly disappointed, but he was great,” Schlossnagle said. “His spirits were really good Saturday and Sunday.”