The nightmare on Friday the 13th

Forward Garland opens up about a gruesome yet common sports injury

One of the most frightening experiences to witness in sports is an athlete tearing their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Most athletes never think about all of the injuries sports can cause, since no one ever thinks it will ever happen to them.

One of the more common athletic injuries is a torn ACL, which is also one of the most difficult to deal with and most athletes never fully recover from.

Ferris State women’s soccer junior midfielder Stephanie Garland has been unfortunately been the latest to succumb to a torn ACL a few weeks ago in the Bulldogs match against Madonna.

“I actually tore it while scoring a goal against Madonna on,

very ironically, Friday the 13th,” Garland said. “I landed on my shooting foot after I shot, and the defender came in late on the tackle and ran right through my leg.”

ACL tears vary from athlete to athlete in terms of pain. Some people don’t even realize they tore it until they’ve walked on it for a while. However, Garland had an immediate inkling as to what she had done when she went down.

“When the collision happened, I heard my knee pop, so all I could think about was if it was my ACL,” Garland said. “Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about much besides how much it hurt. I have never had an injury more severe than a sprained ankle, so the pain was pretty shocking.”

Many athletes cannot describe the amount of pain they go through when dealing with a torn ACL, especially when they have done so much damage to everything inside their knee.

“Apparently I completely ruptured my ACL, I have a slight tear in two other muscles in my knee, a dent in my bone, which could possibly be a fracture, and significant bruising. The surgeon told me the amount of damage I did was impressive. She said they might have to put a stitch in the tears depending on how bad they look when she gets in there,” Garland said.

Garland will be going into surgery on Oct. 3 and has her mind set on working extremely hard in her three to six months of recovery. NFL athletes have professed that following the surgery and recovery, their knee is stronger than it was before.

“I will hopefully be back for at least the end of spring training,” Garland said. “If not, then I will be back by next season if everything goes well.”

Not every athlete’s ACL injuries are the same, but depending how severe the accident was, it could make the decision of whether or not they ever get to play again.