Belcher Hopeful for Weekend Return

Alabama senior left-handed pitcher and outfielder Brandon Belcher could make his long awaited return to the pitcher's mound this weekend in a three-game series against LSU.

Belcher's only outing of the season this season was in the first series against Georgia State on Feruary 10 where he pitched five and two third innings giving up just one hit before leaving the game with arm pain.

"I got on the mound last week twice and threw bullpens," Belcher said Tuesday. "It's feeling better. Hopefully I'll be able to pitch this weekend. It's not a sure thing but there are better chances this week than last week."

Belcher has had Tommy John surgery before, but the injury he is recovering from (muscle strain) is unrelated to that, Belcher and team officials have said.

"The doctors say it's a nuissance injury," Belcher said. "Once it starts getting better it gets better quickly. I'm kind of banking on that. Maybe with this week here I can get back going. I think I can do it."

Alabama Coach Jim Wells, who was off recruiting on Tuesday and not available for comment, said after Sunday's loss to Ole Miss that he has to find a new Sunday starter.

Casey Kebodeaux, who started the first two Sundays in Southeastern Conference play, hasn't gotten past the second inning in either outing.

"Right now it seems like Sunday would be my spot if I could get back in there," Belcher said. "Hopefully, probably the Sunday guy would be my best fit. Last Sunday and this Sunday was the same. I don't get too much sleep knowing we could probably, maybe be undefeated in the SEC if I was pitching. I feel like I could help us win."

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