May 3, 2001
CLEMSON, SC – Senior preseason All-American center fielder Patrick Boyd will not return to the Clemson lineup this season and will need five more weeks of rehabilitation for his back Clemson head coach Jack Leggett announced Thursday at the conclusion of practice.
Clemson has been without the services Boyd for all but one game this season because of a stress fracture in his back. Boyd missed all of preseason practice and missed the team’s first 13 games of the season before appearing in the lineup March 11 in the Tigers’ 17-4 win over Ohio University.
Boyd was 1 for 3 with a double and scored two runs against Ohio, but the pain continued and forced him to miss the two games with Georgia Southern. On March 14, he flew with team doctor Byron Harder to Tampa, FL to be checked out by a back specialist, Dr. Tom Tolli, who works primarily with major league baseball players, including Jose Canseco. Boyd immediately began a six-week rehabilitation process and was expected to return to the lineup last weekend vs. North Carolina, but he decided to rest this week while Clemson was taking final exams. He anticipated returning this weekend for the Tigers’ three-game ACC series at N.C. State, but after further review by Dr. Tolli it was determined Boyd was not ready to come back.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the results,” Boyd said. “Right now my plan is to focus on getting 100 percent healthy and from their I’ll weigh my options and go in the direction that I think will best benefit my future in baseball.”
“It is an unfortunate situation, but the stress fracture has not healed the way it needed to heal,” Leggett said. “It is very disappointing it had to happen this way, but it is in his best interest not to play. If he were to come back and keep swinging, he could do permanent damage. It is just very disappointing for him because of the person that he is and the potential that he has.”
Boyd, who came back to Clemson for his senior year after getting drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, was a 1999 All-American and is a 2001 preseason second-team All-American by Baseball America. He is a career .341 hitter with a .442 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases in three seasons. The senior from Palm Harbor, FL ranks in the school’s career top-10 lists in five different categories, including walks, doubles, runs scored, hits and RBIs.
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