Hopkins leaves game with leg injury, could be out awhile

Hopkins leaves game with leg injury, could be out awhile

**Story by Jeff Owens/Photo by Allen Sharpe**

South Carolina may be without its leadoff hitter and one of its best players for a while as TJ Hopkins left the game Friday with a right quad injury. 

Hopkins, who is batting .300 with two home runs, seven RBI and a team-high 17 runs scored, left Friday night's game against Michigan State in the third inning with what head coach Chad Holbrook called a quad issue. Holbrook has been battling a nagging leg injury all season. 

Schmidt, Bride lead SC over Michigan State

UPDATE: The Gamecocks announced Saturday that Hopkins has a strained right quad and will not play the rest of this weekend. He will be re-evaluated Monday. 

Hopkins was taken to the hospital for an MRI during the game. 

"TJ is going to be out a while," Holbrook said. "He's had a quad issue and it flared up on him in a big-time way. I don't know if the cold weather contributed to it or not. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because we need him in there, obviously."

Danny Blair replaced Hopkins in center field and will like handle the position until Hopkins returns. 

Hopkins, a sophomore from Summerville, S.C., was coming off his best week. He was 3-for-5 against Clemson on Sunday and hit two home runs in another 3-for-5 game against The Citadel Tuesday. He had another hit Wednesday against Winthrop. 

Holbrook said Hopkins could be out for a while. 

"I don't see him playing the rest of the weekend," he said. "I hope like crazy we can get him back for next weekend, but I'm not so sure."

South Carolina opens SEC play next weekend at Tennessee.