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The Daily Tar Heel
From the Press Box

Reilly Hovis out for 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery

Update: Comments from Coach Mike Fox

  • On finding out Hovis would need surgery:

"Well it stinks for him, that’s first and foremost. You don’t want any player to have to go through that. But we haven’t had Reilly pretty much all year. He pitched in the Seton Hall series and the UCLA series.

And we’ve just been going careful with him, and trying to figure out what was wrong, you know just be prudent in how we were treating him, his injury, and try to get him back.

"And as it turned out was more serious than we thought. So it’s unfortunate for him, but Reilly is one that really really wants to come back and I think those are the type who do the rehab and get back."

  •  On when the injury happened:

"I think that’s probably the $64,000 question with Tommy John. He threw 64 innings for us last year … So who knows?"

  • On Hovis' injury specifically:

"It’s the ulnar collateral ligament. It’s basically that ligament in your elbow that is either strained or it tears. And I don’t know all the specifics, but I think Reilly’s had what Dr. Andrews described as just a slit in it. And it was impossible to detect."

***

North Carolina junior right-handed reliever Reilly Hovis underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday morning and will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, according to a GoHeels.com release Wednesday. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery. 

Hovis only appeared in two games this season and was dealing with a right forearm strain for most of the season. In just three innings, the junior allowed five hits, six runs and three walks before being sidelined in February. 

Last season, Hovis was the team's best relief pitcher, appearing in 34 games and tossing 64 innings while finishing with a 2.25 ERA. He racked up 81 strikeouts — second on the team behind Trent Thornton's 83 — while walking just 24 batters and leading UNC with nine wins. 

The Gastonia, N.C., native was expected to lead a strong Tar Heel bullpen this season, but the team struggled early in relief with his absence, relying primarily on senior Trevor Kelley and moving Thornton back into the bullpen, as well. 

Coach Mike Fox talked about the importance of other pitchers stepping up in Hovis' absence after the Tar Heels narrowly defeated VCU 6-5 on March 4.

"Our pitching’s gotta get better," Fox said after the game. "When Reilly Hovis goes out, we’ve gotta have some other guys step up."

sports@dailytarheel.com

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