Arizona State sophomore outfielder Nick McLain will miss time due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand, according to head coach Willie Bloomquist.
Just last year, the talented Sun Devil outfielder missed the first eight weeks of the season after breaking the hamate bone in his right hand. The switch-hitter was a Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention despite playing in only 23 games.
“We’re hoping we get him back by conference play if all goes well or maybe a week prior if things go really well,” Bloomquist said.
With the Sun Devils opening the season on Feb. 16 against Santa Clara, McLain and the Devils hope for a return to action around the first Pac-12 opponent, Oregon, on March 6-8. The typical hamate bone recovery is six to eight weeks, with McLain’s injury last year taking him around eight weeks to see a full return to gameplay.
The hamate bone is a common injury in hitters that occurs in the bottom hand when gripping the bat. Because of the repeated force against the bone due to the grip, the hamate bone, located between the fourth and fifth metacarpal, experiences compression with the knob upon impact.
“It’s one of those, I say one of those freak accidents, but in this case, it’s twice because he’s a switch-hitter, and it’s usually that bottom hand,” said Bloomquist.
McLain burst out of the gates last season in his collegiate debut at Grand Canyon, going three-for-six with four RBIs in one of the more memorable Sun Devil wins. McLain batted .298 and slugged for .649 while reaching base at a .391 clip. The impressive combination of power and contact was a critical addition for the Sun Devils in the second half of the season.
McLain comes from a family no strangers to Sun Devil baseball. His older brother Sean played for the Devils from 2020-22. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Sean in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB Draft.
The oldest brother, Matt McLain, went 17th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2023.