The plan was to have my second MRI on Oct. 24 and then have a consultation appointment with my potential surgeon.
Once my MRI was complete, I met with Dr. Robertson and compared notes from my first and recent MRI. My meniscal tear had grown a little and flapped over. Per her suggestion, she recommended I have the flap piece removed.
She explained the procedure to me and explained the downtime of recovery. She told me stories of some San Diego Chargers athletes she had operated on and that they were back as soon as two or three weeks, but she did not recommend this for me.
She said for me, I would be on crutches doing non-weight-bearing exercises for two weeks, and within two to three more weeks I would be back to normalcy in my training.
I really hope this is the case, as I am needing to get my base training in as much as possible this fall to help set up the rest of my year’s training. I explained this to Dr. Robertson by stating I would like to have my operation done as soon as possible, and she was on board but wanted to have the Olympic Training Center doctors on board, as well.
Oct. 27 rolled around, and I met with our OTC doctors in the morning. I discussed my meeting with Dr. Robertson, and they already had spoken with her, as well, and were on board with the surgery. I was told by the OTC doctors to train as normally as I can and make sure my legs are as strong as possible going into this operation.
I continued with my training, doing my normal throwing routine with some minor adjustments. I also kept to my rehabilitation exercises, strengthening the smaller muscles around my knee and quads, and then hitting my front squats heavy Monday afternoon, doing seven sets of six reps at 355 pounds. The squats felt really good and barely bothered my knee due to the up-and-down motion of the lift.
On Oct. 29, I had a solid morning throwing session. I had minimal pain and was able to participate in most throwing drills my coach had planned for me. It was very positive, as he and I worked on positions and the direction we plan to go this year post-operation.
Then, I received a call from the doctor’s office in La Jolla, California, asking me about setting up my operation. I had become nervous initially but knew it was in my best interest to have the operation done as soon as possible so I can continue to move forward and be on the right path for my outdoor season.
This meniscal surgery is only a minor setback in my current training system. Yes, I will have to alter some of my training for almost two months in order to strengthen my legs back to normal. No, it will not be an easy road, but I am accepting my challenge with open arms and staying optimistic about my future.
I know that this surgery will set me back a step or two, but I know deep down, when I come back to my normal routine, I will be three steps ahead and excited to get the ball flying again.
Eric Werskey is a Seymour native who was a state-champion shot put thrower in high school and an all-American thrower at Auburn University. Since 2012, he has lived at the Olympic Training Center in California to work toward the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Send comments to [email protected].