The Florida Gators baseball team has suffered a major blow more than a month before its season opener.
Senior speedster Tyler Thompson will not play this season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder from Jupiter (Fla) Tequesta High was set to man center field this season and suffering a season-ending knee injury that required surgery last March.
It was the second time in his career that he has suffered a torn ACL. The University of Florida put out a release on Wednesday that did not clarify the reason Thompson would not play, simply stating that he is leaving the program.
Thompson, who received a medical hardship last season, was batting .319 with 12 runs, four stolen bases and a pair of homers. The Gators were 13-1 in the games Thompson had played in.
After his junior season in 2011, Thompson opted to return for his senior season despite being drafted in the 46th round by the Washington Nationals. He finishes his UF career with a .280 batting average with 65 runs, 11 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 64 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
The Gators open 2013 with a three-game home series against Duke beginning on Feb. 15.