Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Monday morning that he's not sure if his leading hitter will be available when the Razorbacks open the tournament with a first-round game against ninth-ranked Florida at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Hoover, Ala.
"I think the issue we have more than anything is the shoulder. If it's not sore, he'll play. If he can throw, he'll play," Van Horn said. "If it is (sore), we'll have to rest him another day."
While the Razorbacks are in the midst of an eight-game conference losing streak, Lyons has remained consistent at the plate. The senior — who's batting a team-high .315 with 38 RBIs — smacked a three-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Oral Roberts 3-2 on May 12.
And Lyons had hit a solo home run and a double before injuring his head and shoulder in a hard collision in the fifth inning of Friday's 9-3 loss to No. 7 Ole Miss in Baum Stadium.
Lyons remained on the ground for several minutes after he collided with Ole Miss third baseman Zach Miller while trying to stretch a double into a triple. He sat out Saturday's 16-3 loss to the Rebels, and Van Horn said he won't know Lyons' status until he sees how the shortstop feels during today's practice in Hoover.
"I'm guessing the head's all right, (but) the shoulder is stiff," Van Horn said. "He told me he felt like he had just lifted a lot of weights and was just extremely sore."
Van Horn said he's leaning toward starting Fayetteville redshirt freshman Tim Carver at shortstop if Lyons can't play against the Gators. There's also a chance that Fayetteville senior Ben Tschepikow could get some work at the position.
Van Horn said Lyons' face remains "pretty scarred up" from the collision. The senior tested his sore shoulder by fielding ground balls Sunday, but he didn't hit and was limited in how much he could throw the ball.
"I think if you ask anybody in this league, if you take out their shortstop, that could hurt," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said Monday on an SEC coaches teleconference.
"... It's one thing to take out a corner outfielder, but when you're taking out a catcher or your shortstop or your center fielder, that certainly does change you defensively."
SEC Baseball Tournament
At Regions Park, Hoover, Ala.
Game 1, 10 a.m. No. 7 Arkansas vs. No. 2 Florida
Game 2, 1:30 p.m. No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 3 Ole Miss
Game 3, 5 p.m. No. 8 Vanderbilt vs. No. 1 LSU
Game 4, 8:30 p.m. No. 5 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Alabama
Game 5, 10 a.m. Loser G1 vs. Loser G2
Game 6, 1:30 p.m. Loser G3 vs. Loser G4
Game 7, 5:00 p.m. Winner G1 vs. Winner G2
Game 8, 8:30 p.m. Winner G3 vs. Winner G4
Game 9, 3 p.m. Winner G5 vs. Loser G7
Game 10, 6:30 p.m. Winner G6 vs. Loser G8
Game 11, 10 a.m. Winner G8 vs. Winner G9
Game 12, 1:30 p.m. Winner G7 vs. Winner G10
Game 13, 5 p.m. Winner G11 vs. Loser G11
Game 14, 8 p.m. Winner G12 vs. Loser G12
Game 15, 3 p.m. Winner G13 vs. Winner G14
* If both bracket winners are undefeated, there will be no 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. games on Saturday and the championship game Sunday would be Game 13.