Bradley Jr. continues recovery

When Jackie Bradley Jr. went down with an injury in a series against Mississippi State, it looked like the Gamecock outfielder has possibly played his last game in the garnet and black. But since the injury and subsequent surgery, Bradley Jr. has expressed his positivity and determination to return this season for USC.

After suffering a devastating injury to his wrist on April 23rd, Jackie Bradley Jr. made a quick turnaround and underwent surgery to repair the damage on April 29th.

Since his injury, the junior outfielder has expressed his optimism on his Twitter account and repeatedly during his press conference on Tuesday. As for his team, they have done nothing but win since losing the outfielder, posting a perfect 5-0 record.

A weekend sweep of Auburn allowed the Gamecocks to stay on top of the SEC Eastern Division in a neck and neck race with Florida and Vanderbilt.

"It's been slow, I was just ready to get the surgery done with so I could start rehab as soon as possible," said Bradley Jr. "I'm very optimistic about it and I've been known to heal pretty quickly. So I'm hoping everything works out the way that I know it can."

Last year's College World Series MVP was already projected as a high draft pick going into this season, and the latest projections still place the junior from Virginia in the first or second round of the Major League Baseball draft.

While it initially appeared that the Saturday contest with Mississippi State would be his last contest playing for Coach Ray Tanner, Bradley Jr. said that thought never crossed his mind, and he is looking forward to playing for the Gamecocks again this season.

"No I never really thought about it because I didn't know the severity of the situation. I knew I hurt it pretty bad and I went to the doctor and found out it was pretty major actually. It still didn't even cross my mind to think that it could be. I really don't like to ponder on it too much because I've really got a feeling that I'm going to be back healthier."

With a team now ranked #1 in college baseball, it will be important for the Gamecocks to pick up the slack without their everyday centerfielder in the lineup. However, for a team that has been decimated by injuries, especially in the outfield, it will simply be another day at the office as they look to keep winnings.

"This team is amazing," said Bradley Jr. "As you can see, all the adversity we've been going through, mainly the outfielders, but they still continue to win (and it) shows the fight and desire this team has. They keep winning and proving to people that we can with some of the players out hurt, injured, whatever, you still have to find a way to win, no excuses."

Although he has not set a firm return date and hopes to begin rehab later this week, Bradley Jr. continues to remain upbeat despite his tough situation, and will look to hopefully make his contributions to another Gamecock postseason run.

"It's very important to me, I want to get back out there and play the game that I love and show everybody that I'm not done. Like I said before, I can only pray and hope for the best in the future."

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