An ACL tear is one of the most gruesome injuries an athlete can suffer. Now, imagine suffering that injury twice.
That is exactly what junior forward Lexie Der is going through right now.
Der tore her ACL for the second time late last season, which prevented her from finishing the season with the women’s basketball team.
“I knew it was bad because Lexie never stays down,” junior center Miquelle Askew said. “I started tearing up when I found out the news and had a scared feeling of: what are we going to do?”
The news was not only a devastating blow to the Broncos, who were in the midst of one of their best seasons in recent memory, but also to Der herself, who was having a career-high season.
“I remember sitting in the doctor’s office hearing the news and getting emotional,” Der said. “It was so heartbreaking and rough.”
Der was quickly reminded by her teammates that they were there for her and would continue to be every step of the way to recovery.
“My whole team was very supportive and they always have been for me, injury or not,” Der said. “It was very nice to hear from them and know they were there for me through it all.”
Der knew the road to recovery would be a long one but was ready to meet the challenge head-on.
“It’s frightening to think about,” Der said. “But I always have a very optimistic attitude so I was able to pull myself together and told myself I just have to take it and roll with it.”
Der is currently in the middle of rehab. The prognosis is that she will be ready to play by the start of January.
“Recovery is going really well and I’m really enjoying rehab and the trainers are making it fun for me to go to,” Der said. “It’s been hard to stick with the strict schedule of things I can’t do. I always want to do more, but everything has been going smoothly and hopefully it continues to do so.”
Her team and coaches have been pleased with the way her recovery is going as well.
“I have a lot of faith in our doctors and our trainers and I know she will be back ready to go as soon as they think she is ready,” head coach Gordy Presnell said.
Der is the standout leader on the team and her presence on the court has been vital to the success that the Broncos have had.
“There just isn’t girls like Lexie who at 6’1” can handle the ball like a point guard, shoot the three, and then defend the post,” Presnell said. “She is just so multidimensional and is one of the best players in the league and she is very important to our success.”
Der will continue the rehabilitation process throughout the rest of the year in preparation for her grand return to the game and team she loves.
“It will be such a good feeling to get back on the court and play with my team,” Der said. “After everything I have gone through, it will be a fantastic feeling.”