A couple weeks ago, I experienced my first “real” injury. There were no signs that led me to believe that I was going to be injured. I actually felt great leading up to the game and when I first came into the game. Then it happened, I ruptured my Achilles.
It was a normal play. The guy that I was defending cut back door to run off of a down screen, I was there to give chase. As I cleared the screen and closed, I felt a hit to the back of my leg. I thought maybe the guy that was setting the screen on me initially, had moved to set a re-screen and made contact with me. I took one more step, then realized I didn’t have full power of my foot, so to protect myself I fell over intentionally. While lying on the ground, our team’s medical staff asked me what had happened. I replied, “I think dude kneed me on the screen”. As I was getting up, I heard somebody say, no one touched him. If you know sports, you know they say the worst injuries are with no contact. After being helped back to the locker room, I immediately received an ultrasound which revealed the rupture. Then an MRI. Within a couple hours I was in a cast. Special thanks to my team’s medical staff for addressing my issue as fast and as well as they did. Their quick action prevented me from doing more damage, because in my mind, I was fine!
I started google searching any and everything that dealt with the Achilles tendon. Every story started the same, “you are going to feel like you were kicked”. My next step was to figure out how to get the best treatment possible, so I reached out to a few medical professionals that I trusted. One of those people happened to be my aunt, who has been in the sports medicine industry for about 30 years. The next people I contacted were UNC basketball staff. Going to a university like UNC has its perks, and one is having access to the best of the best medically, and having the privilege of them holding onto my previous medical records going back to when I became a Tar Heel in 2001. God works in mysterious ways because everything lined up perfectly, so perfect that my anesthesiologist was my neighbor.
After the injury in Japan, I was back home and had surgery within four days. The healing process has begun and I’m feeling fine. The only thing that is bothering me is the fact that I haven’t been able to work out the way I want to. While to some, this may seem like a harsh blow, but to me, it’s not. It’s actually a blessing in disguise, at least that’s how I see things. I believe in a higher power. I believe in God. I believe this is God just giving me a chance to rest and collect my thoughts. I didn’t ask God “why me”, for the same reasons I didn’t ask why me when he gave me all the blessings in my life. This is my fourteenth year as a professional athlete, and I have a goal that I will reach before I call it quits. I told people I would be back sooner than later, and people thought I was crazy. Well once again, I know God and my body. By the time you all have read this, I will already be in my walking boot. I am different! Shout out to my family, friends, teammates, the Alvark organization, and all the fans for rallying behind me. I will be back on the court ready to go by the start of the next season.
Warning, a well-rested Wad is going to be a scary sight for the competition…BIG FACT!
Till next time… Strive To Excel!