North Surry freshman phenom Kendal Tucker is out for the baseball season with a fracture in his pelvic bone.
Tucker was a surprise for basketball, not just making the varsity team, but starting many games at guard.
Although he is a pretty good basketball player, baseball is his first love, said dad Noel Tucker, who once helped North Surry win the state basketball title in 1989.
The diaper dandy earned the starting spot at short and was batting .625 on the season before the injury.
“He was wearing it out,” said baseball coach Travis Gammons. “I hate it for him because he was playing extremely well.”
Basketball coach Kevin King said Kendal had felt some tightness in his lower back during the winter. The coach gave him some exercises to stretch and relax the lower back and hamstrings.
The coaches said Tucker had felt some tightness in his left hip in recent days, although it is unclear whether it is related to the back issue or something new.
Kendal hit a good ball at the plate and was starting to round first and stretch it into a double when the pain hit, said Gammons.
Mom Velvet Tucker said the family went to Northern Hospital’s emergency room Monday night, and the pain was excruciating. The teen was given morphine and hydrocodone, but the pain was still there.
Velvet posted on Facebook, “The verdict is that the top portion of his pelvic bone separated and broke. He’s facing 3-4 months total recovery time, and as anyone who knows him knows, this isn’t at all what he wanted to hear.”
Kendal was back at school on crutches Wednesday, said Gammons.
“He showed me the X-ray (Wednesday) of his hip,” said King. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
As for the freshman’s play over the winter, King said, “He had a huge presence on the basketball team. There are not many kids who come in as a freshman and start at guard in basketball and at shortstop in baseball. I imagine the list of people who have done that is pretty short.
“Kendal’s biggest skill is a knack for getting the ball in the basket,” said King. As he expands his game with others skills, he can become a really good basketball player.
Noel Tucker vowed that Kendal will make through rehab and be back stronger than ever for both sports.
One of the keys will be physical therapy after the bone heals, said King. He will have to strengthen the muscles in that area to prevent recurrent injuries.