Friday, March 6, 2009

3 weeks of "hell"

The reason I started the discussion about injuries is because unfortunately, I’ve had to battle some injuries myself this year. In fact, in a span of 3 weeks I suffered through more injuries than in my entire college career... well, that is not entirely true, but it is likely to make you feel bad for me, and that is really what I was aiming for!

So these 3 weeks of "hell" began with an away game at the end of November. Sometimes during the first half my right hamstring began to hurt - a lot. Following the athlete's code, I didn’t say anything and continued to play (looking back I’m surprised no one got suspicious, because I was limping my way from offence to defense and back). After the game (we got blown out by 28 points, just in case you were wondering), I put ice on it (the standard procedure prescribed to ANY sort of injury, even if the medics have no clue what it is), thinking it would go away over the weekend. Well, I woke up the next day with a sharp pain in my right hamstring. I couldn’t get out of bed, not to mention walk, so I called up the doctor and told him what has happened. To my surprise, he quickly responded with: it is a micro-tear; you cannot practice for 10 days. It is Saturday, I can’t see you until Monday before practice.

Before I move on, I would like to look at this situation from a different angle. Suppose you are a professional athlete, you are hurt and you are looking to get better as quickly as possible. You call your team's doctor (our "doctor" is a Traumatologist) and based on the information you provided him with over the phone, he is capable of identifying your injury. To top it off, he tells you that there is nothing you can do until he sees you on Monday evening... how would this make you feel? Would you trust a guy over the phone whose primary profession is to operate seriously injured people? I hope this enlightens a little the dilemma between coaches, doctors and players...

On Monday the doctor came to see me, poked my muscle, twisted my leg a couple of times, and confirmed his previous assumption that it is a micro-tear. So I didn’t practice all week, missed one game (we beat the then 1st ranked team in the league) and prepared myself for my glorious return to the field. My highly anticipated comeback happened on Wednesday; I went through the whole practice with no problems.

Towards the end of practice on Thursday, I found myself guarding one of our wings. He drove to the basket, and while I was successfully attempting to stop his charge, my left ring finger got caught in his jersey and snapped - I could feel and hear a clear snap in my left ring finger, followed by an intense rush of pain. I finished practice not being able to catch the ball. So once again I had to report to the doctor. Once again he did some poking and twisting and decided that I had to go to the hospital right away to get an X-Ray. Fortunately, the X-Ray came out negative - nothing was broken, only twisted. I was cleared to play on the weekend with an obstructing bandage between my ring- and middle finger.

The following week I barely escaped what could have easily been my career-ending injury. I was on the right side of the zone, as one of my teammates drove to the basket. I quickly analyzed the situation and concluded that his effort would either result in a basket or a foul (in both cases the ball would be taken out to the top of the key again) and decided to relax and see what would happen. The latter occurred; in mid-air my teammate was knocked down by our American. He came hard to the ground, struggled to regain his balance, and eventually fell down - in my direction. It all happened way to fast... before I knew it, he came stumbling towards me, fell on my right foot and proceeded to fall into my leg. I thought my knee was going to explode. I felt a huge tension in every ligament and instantly thought that my career was over with. It was a scary moment, by the looks of my teammates I could tell that it looked as bad as it felt. After a short break the pain eased and in the end I could finish practice. I don’t know how I got away without any tear or break, but to this day my knee hurts every time I bend it too...

3 comments:

prance1323 said...

Martin,
I dunno if you remember, but I played at Walsingham with Chris Brown, I am the kid from Lithuania.

How have you been?Hows Spain?
I tried to find you on facebook and stuff, but no luck.

I am done with college career in US, and about to start looking for a team to play in Europe, so wanted to talk to you about stuff.

Oh, and dude, coach Barnes said you never called him back, he was kind of upset about it hahaha....
Just kidding.

Tomas

Preston said...

glad to hear you've survived these injuries. Sounds pretty intense.

Can you share with us any info on some of the players you play with, their background, any US college players?

Keep up the great entries!
Preston

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