By Dan Guttenplan
---- — Cassaundra Davis feels her recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and mensicus is now complete.
The Newburyport High alumna is back on the scoring sheet for the St. Michael’s College field hockey team.
Davis scored her first goal in two seasons for St. Michael’s Saturday, capping a 15-month recovery from a devastating knee injury suffered during spring practices of her freshman year. That put a dark cloud over a school year that began with Davis earning Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year after she led the team in goals.
Davis took a moment to talk about the injury, the rehabilitation and the feeling of scoring her first goal post-injury against Stonehill Saturday.
What were you feeling after that first goal on Saturday?
“Last year was definitely difficult being out all season and watching from the sidelines. Scoring that goal felt like I had finally made it back.”
When did you suffer the injury?
“I did it in a spring season tournament at Babson College in my freshman year. I had the surgery during the summer before my sophomore year.”
How did it happen?
“I was cutting to the ball. My knee went one way, and my body went the other.”
Did you hear it pop? Or did you think it was less serious than it was?
“No, we kind of knew right away.”
What was your reaction when you heard about the recovery time?
“I was pretty upset. But there was nothing I could really do about it.”
Did you have surgery right away?
“I actually got it on Aug. 1, a few months later. I was hoping to be able to play my sophomore season if I got my knee strong enough. It just wasn’t realistic to do that. They told me to get surgery before the season.”
What were the first stages of rehab like?
“Pretty rough. The first two weeks, I put my leg in a machine that would move my knee up and down. Then the physical therapy started, and I came back to school three weeks late.”
Did you avoid field hockey that fall, or were you able to be around the team?
“I still came to all of the games and practices. I just couldn’t play.”
When did you start to feel like you could play again?
“It was a good six months before I could run again. At the end of the season, I started to jog. I didn’t start playing until the end of spring of my sophomore year.”
Did you feel awkward on the field at first?
“It was definitely an adjustment getting back out there, but it felt good.”
Was there ever a moment during your rehab when you wanted to give up?
“I never really wanted to give up. It was definitely hard to get back in shape. It was a really long recovery, but I was motivated enough to keep going. This summer, I worked really hard to get back in shape.”
Was there a particular exercise that helped your recovery the most?
“The hardest thing was just running. I didn’t run for six months, so getting back to that was difficult.”
Do you feel like you’re back to 100 percent?
“Yes, I do.”