COLUMBIA — Missouri catcher Trevor Coleman suffered an injury to his throwing hand that required surgery Thursday.
According to Missouri baseball spokesman Josh Murray, Coleman will be available for limited duty such as pinch running. If the Tigers make the NCAA Tournament, it is possible that Coleman could return to action then.
Coleman, a junior, has been the Missouri catcher since he took over the job his freshman year. Coleman was named to the 2008 All-Big 12 second team and was named the 2007 Big 12 freshman of the year. He hurt his hand in the ninth inning of the Tigers win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday.
Missouri has seven regular season games remaining after this weekend's three-game series at Nebraska, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday. If the Tigers finish in the top eight of the Big 12, Missouri would play in the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City starting May 20. The NCAA Tournament starts the following week.
Coleman has been important to the Missouri pitching staff's success. Coleman calls almost every pitch and draws praise from every starting pitcher as being the best catcher they have ever thrown to.
Coleman is hitting .250 this season and is second on the team with six home runs. Coleman is also tied for the team lead in walks. He did not travel with the team to Nebraska on Thursday, but is expected to join the Tigers on Friday.
Sophomore Ryan Ampleman will probably replace Coleman as the starting catcher. Ampleman has started six games this season. While Coleman has been handling catching duties for most of the season, Ampleman has served as the team's designated hitter eight times including the past four games. Freshmen Ben Turner and Andreas Plackis are the other catchers.