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Bayliff takes a break

WSU outfielder Garrett Bayliff is going to take a long break from baseball.

Bayliff, a sophomore, played in 21 games this season before pain in his right ankle shut him down. After time off, he tried to come back, but never fully beat the pain. After two cortisone shots, he planned on playing in mid-April. The pain returned to the front of his ankle. The bone bruises are related to the injuries he suffered early in the 2011 season, when he dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula sliding into second base.

"The injections helped," he said. "But the bruises never healed. I can start resting it now. I'll just rest it all summer."

Bayliff decided against a third injection. He is wearing a walking boot to protect the foot during the day and won't play this summer. The plan is a lot of rest. He will stay in Wichita this summer to rehab. He won't run on it until late summer or early fall. The injury doesn't keep Bayliff from hitting.

""Both doctors I've gone to say the bruises will heal, they just haven't because I've been on it," he said. "You just have to give it time."

WSU coach Gene Stephenson regards Bayliff as an important piece of his offense absent the past two seasons. Bayliff, a left-handed hitter, is particularly tough on right-handed pitchers. He hit .389 in six games in 2011. This season, he hit .355 with eight doubles in 21 games.