USC's Bradley 'unlikely' to return: Junior outfielder might need surgery on injured left wrist

Jackie Bradley

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina coach Ray Tanner was optimistic Monday about center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s left wrist injury, saying Bradley might be able to return in a month's time.

Tanner was painting a more realistic picture of the injury by Tuesday evening. He said the junior's stellar career at USC could very well be done.

"It's unlikely Jackie will be back," Tanner said after USC's 9-6 win against Liberty.

Tanner speculated that Bradley might need surgery. Even if he does not have surgery, Tanner said Bradley's return is "unlikely." Bradley said Monday night on his Twitter account that "something is torn inside there."

Bradley was struggling before the injury this past weekend at Mississippi State. A pair of pronounced slumps dropped the preseason All-American's average to .259 in 37 games.

Even with the injury, and his struggles at the plate, Bradley is still projected as a first-round pick in the June MLB Draft. Baseball America projected him as the 20th overall pick in a mock draft earlier this week.

Without Bradley, and right fielder Adam Matthews (hamstring), the Gamecocks (32-8) will make due in the outfield.

DeSean Anderson again started for Bradley on Tuesday against Liberty. The freshman had a three-hit day Sunday, but was 0 for 4 in the leadoff spot against Liberty.

Tanner said the team could get outfielder Evan Marzilli (undisclosed medical condition) back this weekend for the Auburn series. Jake Williams and Robert Beary are the team's other healthy outfielders with any experience.

The Gamecocks host the Tigers on Friday evening at Carolina Stadium. The 7 p.m. start will be televised on SportSouth.