The Defender

The Defender.

“I’ll bounce back.”

My son suffered an MCL sprain at soccer practice last Thursday. It’s a second degree sprain, and doesn’t need extensive surgery, just plenty of ice, elevation, and rest — three things he can ill afford after making his first JV team in the one sport he loves more than his own life.

Alas, considering the alternatives, he’s doing better with the bad news this week, easing into a new normal, and focusing a little more on academics, which took a minor hit with all the practices and games.

Other parents of other athletes who’ve injured out came to me with support and very good, very comforting advice: “It’s one season.” “He’s a freshman. Better now than at tryouts, or worse, playing Varsity his last year.” “At least it’s not his ACL, that’s worse.”

Today, we saw an orthopedic doctor to confirm what the walk-in clinic physician basically said. The good news is, he doesn’t have to wear that initial immobilizer, or even hobble around on crutches for long.

Going to the bathroom has been quite an adventure, for example. We had a good laugh on the drive back home over that. “Mom, it takes me 10 minutes to take a crap! I can’t go with this thing on my leg!”

His new knee brace is called — fittingly — The Defender. The Defender allows for more freedom of movement at the knee joint, locked a few degrees out and in. In two weeks, he can unlock the brace, and move around without any restriction.

Next Tuesday, he goes in for his first physical therapy session with Jeremy, who will, hopefully, show him another new normal: How to properly take care of his soccer body beforeduring, and after play, so James can try to better prevent another similar strain.

Depending on how well he progresses in his physical therapy, there and at home, my son can start training for soccer again this summer, when he’s not learning driver’s ed — in plenty of time to kick ass at Feb. tryouts and maybe make the Varsity starting team.

You never know.


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