Noland could return later this month

Arkansas reliever Connor Noland delivers to the plate Friday, March 5, 2021, during the fifth inning of the Razorbacks' 7-6 win over Murray State in Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas right-handed pitcher Connor Noland could return to game action within a couple of weeks, Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said Monday.

Noland has not pitched since March 5 and has pitched just twice this season. Van Horn said Noland has a strained arm.

“I think he’ll be ready to pitch for us in two or two and a half weeks, talking to our trainer today,” Van Horn said. “I’ve been talking to Connor a little bit. He said he feels good. We don’t want to rush him, obviously. We need him.

“If we could get him back and healthy, and pitching in the way he’s pitched in the past, it could really help us down the stretch.”

Van Horn said Noland could fit into a starting role later in the season, including perhaps as a midweek starter. He has 22 career starts and was the team’s No. 1 starter in 2020 before the season was suspended.

Noland allowed 1 run on 2 hits and struck out 5 in 4 2/3 innings against Southeast Missouri State on Feb. 26 in what Van Horn called the best outing of his career. 

Van Horn was also complimentary of Noland during a 1/3-inning outing against Murray State on March 5 when Noland allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 1 walk.