Friday, January 23, 2009

Doty's surgery

Freshman guard Caroline Doty underwent surgery Thursday morning to repair her torn left ACL. That's the same ACL she tore playing soccer during her senior season of high school. She should need six-to-nine months to recover, but the question that is a ways away from being answered is how will Doty respond when she's back on the court? Will she be tentative? Will she hold back? Will she favor the left leg?

I spoke with two people who know a thing or two about knee injuries - Kalana Greene and Shea Ralph.

Greene said the hardest part was during games and not being able to give anyone a breather. In a lot of ways, that time becomes a reminder that you are hurt. Ralph said she has already assigned responsibilities to Doty, such as charting stats, to keep her involved and her mind off of the injury. The other thing Greene said was that practices were even tougher.

“I didn’t watch practice last year, I couldn’t do it,” Greene said. “I rehabbed during practice because practice is long and you’re doing drills and you see people play. Games are hard enough, but watching practice every day, it sucks because you want to be out there and part of the team.”

Ralph said she had five knee surgeries all told. After the fifth, the doctors told her that should she require another operation, Ralph would need knee replacement. Hopefully Doty doesn't go beyond two surgeries. My uneducated assumption is two in two years doesn't bode well dor Caroline.

Anyhow, Ralph said the subsequent surgeries and rehab were easier in the sense that she knew what was in front of her but she still had some measure of uncertainity. The keys are not getting too bogged down. It helped to have a good support system to lift her spirits, naming her roommate, Paige Sauer, as one person in particular that stepped up for her.

“At first it’s very physical because you lose your muscle like that, your knee is this big (gesturing a foot wide with her hands); the simplest things are painful and hard,” she said. “It’s hard physically. And once that starts to subside, it’s completely mental. I think the biggest is once your healed, is being back out on the court.”

Ralph said there isn't much you can tell an athlete when they're on the verge of surgery, but mentioned she stopped by to see Doty Thursday morning and deleivered a care package for the freshman.

No comments: