Razorbacks Outfielder To Have Operation Friday

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas center fielder Craig Gentry is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on his right arm Friday.

Gentry, a senior-to-be, will have the surgery in Tulsa.

"We're hoping he'll be ready to play around January or February," said Arkansas trainer Dave England. "He'll miss all of fall ball and will not do any hitting.

"We're shooting for him to return at the start of the season."

England said Gentry will be able to perform some defensive drills, but on a limited basis.

"This is one of those injuries that kind of goes in cycles," England said. "You see more and more of it each year."

Gentry, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder who played his high school baseball at Fort Smith Christian before transferring to Arkansas from UA-Fort Smith, played in 49 games last season.

He became the starting center fielder when senior Casey Rowlett was suspended, along with senior second baseman Scott Bridges for violating a team policy, on March 29.

Gentry started 47 games. He made his first start in center field on April 1 at Auburn.

Gentry hit .311, including a 10-game hitting streak, with 12 doubles, 1 home run and 18 RBIs. He also stole 18 bases in 20 attempts.

He became the first Arkansas player in two years to collect five hits in a game when he went 5-for-5 against Centenary on March 23.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn is optimistic about Gentry's return and knows he could be a major contributor.

"I hope it all goes well," Van Horn said. "I think it will. He'll be limited in his ability to hit, run and catch. He'll probably be around 60 percent when he gets back.

"My guess is, we'll have him in the lineup."

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