When the recovery road takes a wrong turn

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Hayes Garrity might miss season once again

When an athlete tears their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the road to a full recovery is long and has its share of ups and downs.  For Utah Valley University men’s basketball player Hayes Garrity, who missed the entire 2014-15 season with a torn ACL, that recovery took a wrong turn during a scrimmage in early October against Eastern Washington University.  Garrity planted his right foot to make a move around his defender and when his knee buckled he knew something was wrong.

“I was really pissed at first,” Garrity said. “I knew right away that I had done something. I was 90 percent sure that I needed surgery so I was just furious especially with the timing of it. If it would have happened in the summer I would have still been pissed but I could have been back by the season. But because of the timing of it, there’s a chance I could miss the whole season.”

Garrity, a junior guard from Beaverton, Ore., was expected to play a big role under new head coach Mark Pope. As a sophomore, he played in all 32 games and Pope had high expectations for Garrity.

“I have every expectation that Hayes will beat that record (triple-double record),” Pope said in a joking tone.

There is still a slim chance that Garrity will be able to suit up for the Wolverines this season.  He has until December to make a decision and he will be sure that his knee feels good before injuring himself further.

“We don’t have a date set for me to come back,” Garrity said. “But we are hoping sometime in December.  If I come back and my knee doesn’t feel right or still feels like something isn’t right in there, then we will probably shut it down for the season because January is that halfway mark of the season.

Even though it is a speed bump on his road to recovery and getting back on the court, Garrity looks at it as a possibly blessing in disguise.  With junior forward Zach Nelson out for the season with a knee injury, it will give Garrity and Nelson the opportunity to play two more years together.  They are both expected to return next season and with Isaac Nielsen, Jordan Poydras, and Brandon Randolph all eligible to play after sitting out a year due to transfer rules, next year could be a big year for the Wolverines.

“Even though it sucks, it’s kind of nice,” Garrity said. “Because now me and Zach will get two more years together whereas with me getting hurt and then him getting hurt we would have only had one more year. So that’s going to be really nice because Zach’s obviously a really good player and he is really talented and I think that he makes a lot of guys around him better. I think that next year, with what we are going through and what we have been through, we are going to have a really nice team and a really nice year.”