According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries happen every year. The number may vary during the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the injuries did not go away completely. Just ask Zach Wendling, a 17-year-old senior lacrosse player at Moeller High School.
Last year, the team—like many other high school teams in the tri-state — weathered so much disruption due to the coronavirus. One day in May of 2021, with just two home lacrosse games remaining before the playoffs were set to begin, Wendling’s junior season was turning out to be as “normal” as the pandemic allowed. Then, while playing Milford High School, Wendling planted his leg, was pushed and fell. The contact was incidental. That is all part of the sport, but this time when he went down, he heard his knee pop – several times.
“It was the only noise I heard. It was like there was no crowd, outside noise or anything.” Wendling said he heard at least five pops, and then his teammates gathered around him. They were being supportive, saying that everything was going to be OK. While lying on the ground, he just remembered that his knee was “just kind of locked.”