One Step Back, Two Steps Forward


Padgett playing club Volleyball

Jackie Lewis, Staff Writer

Injuries; a well known fear to athletes all around the world.  Whether you’re in the Olympics or little league, having an injury is frightening to all.  It results in less playing time, or even missing the entire season.  The activity or sport that brings you joy, is ruined by an injury that could last 2 weeks, or 2 months.  Most injuries can be recovered, resulting in surgery, casts, or just time off of the injured body part.  More than the pain, however,  the time off is what can hurt most athletes.  The recovery may last half of the season, or  worst of  all, the whole season.

Kaitlyn Padgett is a dual-sport athlete who specializes in volleyball and basketball.  She was an excited freshman eager to play volleyball for our very own Heritage High School.  Sadly, her eagerness to play was put to an end due to her shoulder injury.

“I had a labrum tear on my right shoulder, so I missed volleyball season,” said Padgett.

A labrum tear, also know as a Labral tear, is the tearing of the small piece of cartilage that helps to keep the ball joint of the shoulder in place.  Depending on the severity of the tear, treatments can vary from basic physical therapy to complex surgery.  Patients who had to have surgery are able to strengthen their shoulder with physical therapy four to six weeks later. However, if they would want to return to overhead sports, they would have to go through physical therapy for three to four months.  This recovery time is a nightmare to most athletes, and can result in missing the sport for long term stretches.

“I was out the whole volleyball season because 6 months was the recovery time after surgery so the whole season was done by the time I was back,” Padgett explained.

Padgett’s Labral tear wasn’t  the first injury she has acquired, but was the first surgery she has had.  Padgett explains how she has dislocated her knee before, but has not had surgery for it.  For her knee, Padgett was also out for three months, and  the six months she had to take off for her shoulder was certainly a surprise to her.

While Padgett was unable to participate in volleyball, she was lucky enough to heal before basketball season.  While Padgett plays both volleyball and basketball,  and enjoys playing both, she favors basketball more.  And being just a freshman, Padgett made the Girls Varsity Basketball team, and has been enjoying her time with the team.

The Labral tear Padgett experienced caused a multitude of problems, but her recovery was not one of these.  She was able to go straight into basketball, and even play club volleyball.  A problem, however, that Padgett is a bit concerned about is the fact that she will be starting the volleyball season as a sophomore.

“I’m back in club right now, so I’m still playing and then next season I should be back, but I’ll be as a sophomore instead of a freshman,” Padgett explains about preparing herself for next volleyball season.