Arizona softball: Fowler doing well after back surgery

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Kenzie Fowler, the Canyon Del Oro High School star who pitched the Arizona Wildcats to the 2010 Women’s College World Series finale before being beset by a series of injuries, will redshirt this season, the UA announced.

Fowler had back surgery — a microscopic lumbar discectomy — in October.

She had hoped to return in time to pitch for the Wildcats this season.

In January, UA coach Mike Candrea said he hoped Fowler would play in March. Last month, Fowler threw off the rubber in practice, but Candrea said she would still be weeks away from a return.

“After meeting with Coach Candrea, I decided it was in my best interest and in the best interest of the program for me to redshirt this season,” Fowler said in a news release.

Fowler, who went 15-9 with a 2.85 ERA last year, will play for the UA next season as a fifth-year senior.

She experienced nine months of leg pain and numbness — and was at times so in pain she couldn’t sleep at night — before flying to Los Angeles in September for back surgery.

As a freshman, she pitched the UA to the WCWS finals against UCLA, and was named a first-team All-American.

As a sophomore, she was struck in a head with a line drive while sitting in the UA dugout, and missed two weeks with a concussion.

The Wildcats are left with three pitchers — juniors Shelby Babcock and Estela Pinon and freshman Nancy Bowling — this season. All three figure to be on the staff next season, too, when Fowler returns.

The Wildcats host Boise State tonight at 6.