Reinforcements have arrived as LSU looks to right the ship after the program’s toughest week in recent memory.
Infielder Josh Smith is back in the lineup after missing 38 games with a back injury. He’ll bat leadoff and play third base.
LSU put Smith through pre-game infield drills and had him take batting practice in the cages to make sure his back is good to go. The coach added that he likely won’t play the entire game.
Smith hasn’t played since being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his vertebrate after the opening weekend of the season. Smith seemed primed to return against Tennessee two weekends ago but suffered a setback in the form of a back spasm.
The Tigers are coming off an 0-4 week and a sweep at the hands of South Carolina that saw them drop out of every major top-25 poll for the first time in 124 weeks. Upon returning to Baton Rouge, Mainieri received a text message from Smith that the infielder was ready to play this week.
“He can’t get back soon enough for my liking, I can tell you that,” Mainieri said Monday.