Successful Surgery For Mulholland

Casey Mulholland was all set to pitch for Ole Miss next year. Then came March 10, 2010, and a day he won't forget.

"It was the sixth inning of a game we were playing at Seminole High School," said the talented right-hander who pitches for IMG Academy's Pendleton School in Florida. "I was feeling great. I had 11 strikeouts and there were men on first and second. I threw a curve ball and felt it pop. I continued to throw a couple of more pitches, and then I had to pull myself out."

His team went on to lose to Seminole, ironically Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco's alma mater. It was Mulholland's only loss in five years as a high school pitcher.

But something obviously wasn't right at that moment that day, and Mulholland soon found out exactly how wrong things were.

"We got the MRIs and the X-rays, and we saw there was an issue with the arm," he said.

Then he did what so many athletes do. He headed for Birmingham, Ala., to see Dr. James Andrews. Successful surgery was performed on March 31. Now the road back to baseball begins.

It is a long and extensive road of rehab to get back, as so many can attest. But Mulholland is sure that he will be better than ever once he returns, like so many others in his situation have.

"I'm going to take it slow and do everything right," said the mature Mulholland, who obviously has professional baseball as his career goal. "This is my future, my arm, and hopefully I will make money with it someday. I don't want to come back too early."

Normally surgery and rehab of this nature are a year-long process, which means he will be perhaps 100 percent by this time next year, and the pro draft then will be weeks away in June.

But Mulholland, who turned 18 last Dec. 17, says that isn't his concern. He says being better than ever is.

"I don't want to come back from this 100 percent," he said, emphatically. "I want to come back 120 percent.

"I want to be ready to pitch for the Rebels in 2011-12."

Mulholland has been impressed with Ole Miss and the baseball program here since visiting last spring.

"I'm from Florida, and we love our baseball down here," said the 6-foot-4 Mulholland after his original visit. "At Ole Miss, everybody talked baseball. The fans were so nice. We sat in the same exact seat for the second game, and all around us they were like ‘Casey, how're you doing?' or 'Casey, how was your day?' Just the fact that they remembered my name was impressive. It was an amazing experience. It was the kind of visit you'll always remember. I walked away thinking highly of everything there."

Mulholland signed with Ole Miss in November, 2009, and visited again just a couple of weeks ago for the Florida series. Now he wants to be able to pitch for the Rebels again, but it will obviously be in two seasons.

"I'm just ready to work hard and get healthy," he said.

The road to recovery - and to pitch again - for Casey Mulholland has already begun.

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