Athlete risks injury to play in rival game against West Texas A&M

Jessalyn Castro

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Kalen Ryden, mass communication senior, is pushed while trying to defend Saturday at the match against West Texas A&M University at the soccer field. After two overtimes MSU won 3-2. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Kalen Ryden, mass communication senior, is pushed while trying to defend Saturday at the match against West Texas A&M University at the soccer field. After two overtimes MSU won 3-2. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Wearing a walking boot didn’t stop Kalen Ryden, mass communication senior, from playing against rival West Texas A&M Oct. 10.

Ryden said his foot began bothering him two weeks ago and has been receiving help from the athletic trainers, so that he can recover from what they believe might be a hairline fracture in his right foot.

“I played on Saturday and kind of re-aggravated it all. I didn’t want to sit out, I really wanted to play,” Ryden said. “It was hard to play because I was in pain the whole time. For the first 15-20 minutes of the game it was alright and then something happened and all the pain shot through my foot again and after that it was pretty painful. I could still run but I’d compensate for the pain so I ran slower and my cutting was off. I played the rest of the game through the pain and tried not to think about it.”

Because of the inability to resist playing in an important rivalry game (which the team won, 3-2), Ryden said he is back to square one with his injury and is wearing a boot on his right foot.

“All the pain is back, I’m still doing the same thing everyday treatment wise,” he said. “I’m in a boot which takes pressure off of my foot. I don’t have any pain when I’m in the boot, it’s just when I have my cleats on when I’m trying to play.”

Ryden said no specific incident caused his injury, it just happened over time and gradually got worse as the days went on.

The athletic trainers that are available to the team have been working closely with Ryden to be able to get him healthy and injury-free. Ryden said they’re doing everything they can to get him back on the field as fast as they can.

“My trainer says, ‘My job is to get you back on the field as soon as possible,'” he said.

Ryden said having the support that he receives from the trainers is really awesome.  Their commitment to the team goes as far as being at every one of their practices and games.

“We have our head trainer for the soccer team, and then three or four other student trainers. There’s a lot of people that are there to help us,” Ryden said. “It’s nice to have a good training room and equipment that they do. Not every school has the access to the support we do with our trainers.”

Ben Velasquez, chair of the Department of Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology, said the athletic trainers serve as teaching faculty and clinical preceptors (clinical instructors) to the students while student-athletes are the patients.

“Athletic training students under the supervision of their clinical preceptor, assist in the providing of health-care to our MSU athletes,” Velasquez said. “Each student is assigned to a preceptor, who is providing health-care to a team.”

Graduate assistant athletic trainer Meridith Boucher provides health-care coverage to the men’s soccer team.

Kalen Ryden, mass communication senior, heads the ball towards the Midwestern State University goalie Saturday at the match against West Texas A&M University at the soccer field. After two overtimes MSU won 3-2Photo by Lauren Roberts

Kalen Ryden, mass communication senior, heads the ball towards the Midwestern State University goalie Saturday at the match against West Texas A&M University at the soccer field. After two overtimes MSU won 3-2. Photo by Lauren Roberts

“As an athletic trainer with the men’s soccer team it is my responsibility for the well being of the athletes,” Boucher said. “These responsibilities include prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of the injured athletes.”

Boucher said as a player comes into the athletic training facility to do rehabilitation in the mornings when they work on their injuries to improve range of motion, strengthening, proprioception and plyometric exercises.

“During this time we also can do modality such as heating, icing, cold or warm whirlpools, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. In the afternoon before practice the athletes come back in for rehabilitation again along with any preventive taping or bracing we might do,” Boucher said.

As the trainers work with the players from the time they get injured to the time they return to play, Boucher said it is rewarding to see an athlete work hard to get back on the field after an injury that has kept them out of practices and games.

“Seeing them work towards their goals as an individual and as a team is rewarding. I am very fortunate to be able to work with a great group of guys and be able to see them achieve their goals every day on the practice field and also during the games,” she said.  “As an Athletic trainer I work very close with the team and form close relationships with them so we are able to communicate well together and work hard to get them back to their full athletic abilities.”

The coaches and trainers communicate so that they can provide the best support for Ryden and his health to get him ready to get back on the field fast.

“Our trainers and coaches have really good communication,” Ryden said. “The coaches want me to get better but it’s really up to me and my trainer ultimately if I could play or not.”

Ryden said they practice every day at three and have treatment an hour and a half before their afternoon sessions. But for guys with more serious injuries like him there are treatments available in the mornings at 7:15 a.m.

“I’ve been going twice a day. It’s not fun waking up but it’s worth it,” he said.

Since receiving ultrasound and ice block massage treatments twice a day for two weeks Ryden said his injury has gotten better. After his doctors appointment on Wednesday he will know where he will be in regards to his ability to play for the rest of the season and in the future.

“I’ll be done with athletics here this December because it’s my senior season,” Ryden said. “I do plan on playing soccer at the next level after college.”

 

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