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College Baseball
Florida Gators pitcher Karsten Whitson will miss season with shoulder injury
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Florida Gators pitcher Karsten Whitson will miss season with shoulder injury

Florida Gators pitcher Karsten Whitson will miss season with shoulder injury
Photo Credit: Nati Harnik
Florida starting pitcher Karsten Whitson works against Vanderbilt in the first inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Florida Gators pitcher Karsten Whitson will miss season with shoulder injury

Florida pitcher Karsten Whitson’s decision to spurn a $2.1 million signing bonus out of high school may be coming back to bite him.

Whitson, a right-handed junior, will miss the season, which begins Friday night, after undergoing a shoulder procedure.

Perfect Game first reported on Whitson’s surgery on Thursday.

According to Baseball America, renown surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure and did not find any damage to Whitson’s labrum or rotator cuff. Andrews was reportedly able to locate and repair the impingement, kicking off a rehabilitation process that is expected to take at least four months.

The San Diego Padres drafted Whitson No. 9 overall in the 2010, but Whitson turned down the contract and chose to attend UF.

Florida announced on Wednesday that Whitson, who was projected to be the team’s No. 2 starter, would be out indefinitely due to shoulder fatigue.

“Karsten has been battling continued shoulder fatigue,” head athletic trainer Pat Hassell said in a release. “We have pursued a conservative management plan to treat this issue. Karsten is evaluating further options at this time that will allow for a healthy and productive return to baseball.”

During his freshman season, Whitson finished 8-1 with a 2.40 ERA, earning freshman All-America recognition from Baseball America. He notched 92 strikeouts against 28 walks in 97.1 innings.

Whitson took a step back during his sophomore season, throwing only 33.1 innings due to forearm tendinitis. He threw just 3.1 innings in the Cape Cod League last summer because of shoulder stiffness.

Right-handers Jonathon Crawford, Tucker Simpson and Justin Shafer are expected to be Florida’s starters during its season-opening series against Duke this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.

““We knew that there was a possibility that (Whitson) might not pitch the first two weekends,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We were kind of prepared for this, so it hasn’t really changed a whole lot in regards to this weekend.”

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