KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Days after news of another long-term injury to a key Tennessee baseball pitcher, WATE has learned sophomore ace Blade Tidwell will miss significant time with a shoulder injury.

Tidwell, who led all Tennessee pitchers with 18 starts as a true freshman, was expected to serve as the Friday night starter when the Vols begin the 2022 season in February. A source close to the situation told WATE Sports that Tidwell is working with doctors on a rehabilitation plan. It’s unclear at this time when he could return to action.

The Loretto, Tennessee-native recorded a record of 10-3 in his first year on Rocky Top, the second most wins by a freshman in program history. His 3.74 ERA was the best among Tennessee starting pitchers and he finished second on the team in strikeouts and innings pitched.

He was named to to the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team as well as garnering Freshman All-American honors from and Perfect Game.

The news comes days after news broke that pitcher Seth Halvorsen would miss multiple months with a fractured elbow. The redshirt junior was selected in the 19th round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies but elected to stay in school and transfer to Tennessee from Missouri.

Led by Coach of the Year winner Tony Vitello, Tennessee reached 50 wins in 2021 for the third time in program history and made their first trip to the College World Series in over a decade.

Tennessee will begin their 2022 campaign Feb. 18 against Georgia Southern.