A ruptured knee’s path back to the court

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Kevai Lewis, cub writer

Like many of the players on the varsity basketball team, senior Matthew Liner has been playing the game for the past four years. But for Liner, his past year has been drastically different from all the rest. Before the season began, Liner faced an injury that so many athletes fear: he ruptured his ACL and meniscus and fractured his tibia.

“It was in a basketball game. I had sprained [my knee] before and then kept playing on it,” Liner said. “Then I took a bad step.”

That one bad step has drastically shaped the past six months for the varsity player.

“It was pretty tough. I had to figure out ways to strengthen [my ACL] and try to come back as fast as possible,” Liner said. “I’m not fully recovered yet, but I’m through the main stages.”

The basketball season has started and although Liner hasn’t been able to play, he has made great strides in his recovery.

“I went to physical therapy after the surgery about four times a week, and I did that for about three months straight,” Liner said.

After three months of trying to gain basic motion back in his knee, Liner switched to another physical therapist to start working on actually using it again. Through these times, Liner has had a strong support system.

“[My mom] just told me that I had to push through. I wanted to feel special, like, ‘Oh this only happened to me,’ but it happens to a lot of people,” Liner said.

His younger brother, junior William Liner, also watched him go through the entire recovery process.

“It was strange how Matt was never dejected about the injury, nor did he ever let it get to him,” William said. “The road to recovery is almost over. I’m excited for him and would love to see him play sports at a high level in the future.”

As the recovery process has seen better results, Liner has kept his hopes high. To all the others who face or will face the same issue, he has some tips.

“Don’t rush it,” Liner said. “It takes time to become yourself again. You want to be able to live a normal life in the future, even if it doesn’t involve being an athlete. Take your time and do everything you need for it.”

 

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