Three injured players expected to return this month, one possibly against UCA

The Diamond Hogs will welcome back some injured players sooner rather than later according to Dave Van Horn.

In an interview at the March Swatter’s Club, he let the media know that second baseman Peyton Stovall (broken foot) and right-hander Ben Bybee (mononucleosis) could both be back at the end of the month and that righty Dylan Carter could pitch in relief against UCA today.

“Obviously, we want it to feel right, maybe not put him in a super leverage-type position… Maybe it’ll be like start an inning and kind of go from there,” said Van Horn of Carter.

Carter suffered a torn UCL in April of 2023 and is only 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery. When the injury happened, Van Horn was convinced Carter wouldn’t play. “When it first happened, I thought, ‘Well, he probably won’t pitch in ’24. Get him ready for ’25,’” said Van Horn

For most pitchers, a year’s recovery time is the average, but the Bentonville West product is far advanced in his rehabilitation schedule.

Van Horn said, “But then [Carter’s recovery] went really well. He looked great after the surgery and then the rehab process throughout the summer and throughout Christmas break. He’s just really worked hard and stayed on it.” Now, Carter is throwing in the mid-90s, according to Van Horn

Later this month, Stovall and Bybee are expected to make appearances, and both should be back before the start of the SEC schedule.

“He’s fielding, he’s hitting. He just can’t sprint and cut on the outside of that foot,” Van Horn said about Stovall. “When he comes back he’s going to really help our lineup.”

Stovall will bring much-needed production to the Razorbacks’ offense. He finished with an average of .253 last season, which is better than 4 current batters.

Because of Bybee’s diagnosis of mono, he’s been riding the pine, waiting for the protocol to end. But Van Horn said Carter was given the green light to return on Sunday.

By the end of March, Arkansas could return two, key pieces to an already outstanding bullpen and another on the field.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire