Lake Erie's Weichler suffers another knee injury, will miss rest of season
After nearly 11 months of rehabilitation from an ACL knee injury and both mental and physical preparation, Karleigh Weichler stepped onto a basketball court in an official game when she suited up in the 2012-13 season-opener for the Lake Erie College women's team.
The 2012 Plum graduate began a new chapter in her basketball career, and she was taking advantage of every moment.
Then, in December, it happened again.
Weichler wasn't sure if it was an exact point in time, but she suffered another tear in the same ACL that was injured 12 months before.
All of a sudden, her collegiate freshman season was over, and the journey back to court began all over again.
“I tweaked (the knee) in a game once, and a week later, it felt fine,” Weichler said. “Then I hurt it again in practice, but I was able to play on it, so I kept going. I tweaked it in another game, and that's when my trainer said I should go get an MRI.”
She came home to get the MRI on Dec. 20, and the next day, she found out the ACL was torn.
Surgery was Jan. 3, and she began physical therapy a week later.
“I go to the trainers every day, and they help me out a lot,” Weichler said.
“In three months, I can start jogging, and in six months, I will be cleared. I just have to be patient. There's no doubt I will play basketball again.”
Weichler said she's positive because she knows what to expect this time around.
“I know eventually I will be OK,” she said. “Last time, I didn't know what to expect, and it was more frustrating. This time, I am more zoned in on what I have to do and where I need to be.”
Weichler, a 5-10 wing player, played in seven games for Lake Erie, an NCAA Division II program in Ohio. She started in all seven, and averaged 2.7 points and 2.4 rebounds.
She said that as much as she got tremendous support from her Plum friends, teammates and family in the aftermath of last year's injury, she is getting the same great support from her Lake Erie basketball family.
“They know how tough this is for me because it happened to me again,” Weichler said. “It is a little harder in college because you are on your own. I don't have my parents to drive me everywhere. My teammates and coaches have been really supportive and helpful with everything I've needed.”
Weichler said she is doing whatever she can in support of her team, both in practices and in games.
“It's just another perspective like last year,” she said. “Sitting on the bench, I got to see a different side of the game. I'm still learning a lot.”
Lake Erie was 3-15 overall and 1-14 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference through Saturday's game at Ashland University.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.