Just for Kicks
Some people may assume that a devastating injury like an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear could take an athlete out of the game forever.
Luckily for most, ACL reconstruction will help these players regain stable knees again, allowing them to return to their respective sports. It doesn’t take away from the fact that these injuries still occur and what’s more, they’re even more common among female athletes.
What has caused this rash of ACL injuries?
Some doctors claim the current emphasis on playing one sport all year long, which leaves no time for muscles and joints to recover, while others say it’s the lack of natural muscle support for twisting or rotational movements around the joint.
On a more local level its a simple fact that the amount of ACL injuries in high school athletes has risen over the past 10 years. Pingree girls soccer coach and director of the girls program at Aztec Soccer, Dushawne ‘Doc’ Simpson says that he’s witnessed a handful of ACL injuries as a coach.
“Unfortunately, I’ve seen way too many,” noted Simpson. “Last year I had three of my players tear an ACL and on average I’ve seen about five per year at the club level. The good news that is that advances in medicine make recovery faster and more bearable.
“Players are definitely returning quicker than a few years before. It used to be a mandatory six-nine months, but now I’ve seen as early as five months. At the pro level it’s even earlier. I’m not sure if early is better.”
Two of his Aztec players, Casey Cook (Beverly) and Kasey Provost (Pingree) have just recently returned to their high school teams after rehabbing their injuries.
Cook, who plays center midfield for the reigning Division 1 North champion Panthers, was conveniently cleared to return to action just before Beverly’s first game of the season. Despite going down with the injury in late December, Cook has made tremendous progress and is nearly back to her normal self.