Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
McAfee out again this weekend
Arkansas shortstop Brett McAfee reaches to apply the late tag to Nebraska shortstop Steven Reveles as Reveles slides in safely at second during the second inning Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas will be without Brett McAfee again this weekend and coach Dave Van Horn said he's unsure if the shortstop will play again this regular season.
McAfee has been nursing a lower-back injury suffered March 9 and has played in only one game since. The junior hasn't played in any Southeastern Conference games this season.
"He's feeling a lot better but he's a little leery of swinging the bat," Van Horn said. "I think the twist on that lower half of the body hurts him.
"I'm leaving it up to him. I just don't feel like he's there yet."
Van Horn said earlier this season team doctors were perplexed by McAfee's injury, unsure exactly how to diagnose it. McAfee was batting .277 and had started all 14 games prior to the injury.
"From the way he acts, he feels like he can (play again this season)," Van Horn said. "It seems like that last weekend gets here pretty quick. We only have two weeks left this year. I think if he does play it will be that Missouri series (May 15-17) and then anything after that we're fortunate enough to get to.
"If he's healthy it would be a great thing because he brings a lot more athleticism and speed."
The Razorbacks have had to rely on backup Michael Bernal at shortstop since McAfee's injury. While Bernal has made some highlight-reel defensive plays and upped his batting average in recent weeks, he is tied for the team-lead with 11 errors.