AJ Labas

LSU was hopeful freshman right-hander AJ Labas might be able to contribute as early as next week, but it appears that goal is not in the works after Labas had some difficulty with a simulated game Friday afternoon. 

LSU coach Paul Mainieri has raved about Labas' talent since the fall and is eager to get him into the LSU staff mix, but is not going to rush it.

"I was a little disappointed, he just doesn't look ready right now," Mainieri said about the sim game. "He's going to need some more work; his velocity wasn't where I hoped it would be and nor was his command.

"(Pitching coach Alan Dunn) has been saying he needs more time, and I've been arguing with him, saying, 'No, no, he's ready!' Alan was right. He needs more time."

After competing with a back injury for a significant chunk of fall practice, Labas had surgery to correct the issue in December. He has been working his way back since.  

The initial timetable had Labas set to debut March 3 against Sacred Heart, but LSU thought about accelerating that after some optimistic sessions earlier this week. 

After Friday's dose of reality, Mainieri declined to put a date on when he thought Labas might be ready to debut. 

Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.