Clarke Schmidt never envisioned his junior season at South Carolina being cut short because of injury, but he is remaining positive and trying to help his teammates while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Schmidt had a successful operation two weeks ago and has started the long journey of working his way back to the mound.
The Georgia native is committed to returning to form and one day living his dream of being a major league pitcher.
“It’s not the way I wanted everything to go and how I planned my college career to go. I didn’t want to have the surgery, but I’m taking it well,” Schmidt said Wednesday. “I got my stitches out last Thursday and got to work out for the first few times.”
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Right now, those workouts consist mostly of legs and core exercises.
Schmidt is unable to run yet but is finding other ways to stay active, in addition to doing rehab exercises with his right arm.
“I’m excited I’m allowed to finally work out. I feel like that was the hardest part – when you can’t do anything and you’re not allowed to sweat,” Schmidt said. “But now I can finally sweat and get more of my body moving a little bit.”
When Schmidt isn’t in the weight room, he is working to keep his teammates’ spirits up and is serving as a leader for the Gamecocks.
He has been attending meetings, practices and games and is trying to keep his teammates positive down the stretch.
“These guys still need direction and to be guided. They’re a young team. We have a lot of seniors and a lot of leaders but there are a lot of young guys as well that are having to step up, especially with the injuries,” Schmidt said. “I come to everything. I’m here every morning with these guys. I haven’t missed a practice. I didn’t get to travel last weekend because I got my stitches out the day they traveled, but hopefully I’ll be around every other game and any time they need me.”