Mestepey heading for shoulder surgery

LSU assistant coach Turtle Thomas confirmed that the Tiger pitching staff's ace, left-hander Lane Mestepey, will undergo shoulder surgery next week.<br><br> The procedure, and the ensuing rehabilitation, could force Mestepey to take a redshirt for the 2003 season.

Thomas, a guest on Buddy Songy's show on WSKR-Baton Rouge, said Mestepey has suffered a shoulder ligament injury that is fairly common to pitchers. He complained of pain in his throwing arm following the Tigers win over Auburn at the Southeastern Conference, and it reoccured after his outing against Rice in the NCAA Super Regional. Doctors will have to "tighten" the ligaments on his throwing shoulder, according to Thomas.

The surgery and rehabilitation process take about eight months, said Thomas, meaning Mestepey won't be available to pitch until next March. This could possibly result in the staff electing to redshirt Mestepey with hopes he would return for his two remaining years of athletic eligibility.

Thomas' statements confirm what LSU pitching coach Dan Canevari told The Advocate in its Thursday edition. Broadcast reports on Wednesday night said Mestepey was not going to undergo surgery.

Because he will have turned 21, Mestepey will be eligible for next year's Major League Draft. But his stock is likely to drop if he doesn't pitch competitively as a junior.

As a sophomore, Mestepey had an 11-5 record with a 2.59 earned run average. He led the Tigers in wins, ERA and innings pitched and threw eight complete games in 18 starts. 


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