Minor setback for a major comeback: Tigers share their experiences with injuries

Noam Jacobovitz

Wilson student-athletes train hard and play harder. Competing at a high-level, some end up facing time sidelined due to injuries. These injuries, short-term or long-term, can be very difficult to recover from, not only physically, but also mentally.

“I was sidelined from both my high school and club season, which was incredibly frustrating, not only because I wanted to be out there playing, but also because I wanted to be getting better,” said senior goalie and Princeton soccer signee Ella Gantman, who dislocated her kneecap and tore her MCL and MPFL while training in October. Like Gantman, many Tigers have faced lengthy times out due to injury.

“I did physical therapy two times a week for like two months and then one time a week for like four months,” said Gantman. She added that “getting range of motion back” was the most important part of her rehab.

Senior football star and University of Maine signee Quincy Barber was looking to lead Wilson to a Turkey Bowl victory this season. Then, in an October win against rival Ballou, Barber tore his ACL, a serious injury that can take six to nine months for a full recovery. “The recovery process has been slow and quite difficult. If it wasn’t for football, I don’t know if I would have the patience for it,” Barber said. He explained how most of his rehab exercises focus on regaining strength in his knee, specifically doing squats and working on lateral movement.

A difficult aspect of being injured is knowing you are unable to help your team and compete. “Watching the games after the injury was one of the hardest things I had to go through. I started to realize that the game in which I got injured would be the last time I would play for Wilson,” said Barber. He also added that although he was not able to play, “I often found myself rewatching games or just studying the playbook for my new school,” since “football is constantly on my mind.”

Junior star guard Tara Cousins missed a big chunk of her sophomore basketball season with a torn meniscus. Post-surgery and rehab, Cousins injury held her out for eight weeks. Cousins’ father is a physical therapist, so she felt very prepared for her rehab. “I went to his office every day after school and did strengthening exercises, as well as used electric stimulation therapy to engage the muscles that I had stopped using while I was on crutches,” Cousins said. She also “used medical bands and a bosu ball a lot and speed ladders to retrain my brain to use my left leg properly again and work on balance. I eventually started walking and progressed to running on a treadmill when I could put full weight on my leg again,” she added.

Similarly to Barber, Cousins said, “watching my teammates play was really fun, yet really hard at the same time because I just wanted to be able to go out there and play with them.” I have always been competitive, so when we were down or especially when playing our rivals, Anacostia, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to suit up and help my team.”

Senior Tobias Severin suffered a stress fracture in his knee during both his freshman and sophomore cross country seasons. A stress fracture only heals with time, so Severin was forced to sit out the spring track season his freshman season with two stress fractures in his left tibia. He was finally cleared in June 2016 and ran for the cross country team his sophomore year. At the end of the season he learned he had a stress fracture in his right tibia. Severin was out a total of eight months before finally being cleared. “Following this [second stress fracture] I was worried that I had structural problems with my bone structure, and no doctor was really able to provide me with a solution until one doctor suggested changing my running style to a toe strike instead of a heel strike, and since then I haven’t had any stress fractures,” Severin said. He added that he also spent a lot of time doing physical training.

Junior baseball player Amartya Eswaran-King has now been out five and half weeks with a distressed ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve runs from your neck down to your pinky. “I have been able to hit but not play the field, so I have still been able to help contribute to the team, but watching my teammates play in the field is frustrating because I want to be out there so bad,” said Eswaran-King. With the injury not allowing him to throw, he has still been able to play at designated hitter. “For my rehab I can’t really do much but rest and wait till the nerve isn’t irritated, but I have been doing exercises to strengthen my scapular muscles so I can prevent the injury from happening in the future,” he added. Eswaran-King is also doing nerve glides to try to help the nerve heal faster.