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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Ortega’s back still not healthy

Junior second baseman Bryce Ortega only missed one game in his first two seasons with Arizona, but the usually durable infielder has been limited by a back injury for the better part of a month, causing him to miss four games.

Ortega visited an orthopedic doctor on Thursday and remains game-time decision for Friday’s game against Washington State.

“”I don’t know. It’s still up in the air,”” Ortega said of his status. “”It feels better but not great.””

The doctors haven’t been able to give an exact diagnosis of the injury. They did speculate that it might be an “”anural tear”” in one of his disks, but that was only based off of certain stretches that hurt him rather than an X-ray or MRI.

No restrictions have been placed on Ortega, but the pain has been too much to bear for the reigning First Team All-Pac-10 member.

“”It’s pretty much my pain tolerance whether I can play or not,”” Ortega said. “”They can’t pinpoint (the exact injury), but it’s just been hurting me enough not to play. That takes a lot because I would play in most situations.””

Ortega said that he can barely swing right now, and his range in the field is a little limited. He was feeling better after his back was cracked by the doctors on Thursday.

“”I like having him out there. He’s outstanding … he really does a good job defensively and gives us a lot of stability,”” said head coach Andy Lopez. “”I think we’re a better team when he’s playing defense.

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