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January 8, 2020 - TCO

An ACL Comeback: Jaylen’s Journey

Henry Sibley’s Jaylen Rosga is a lacrosse phenom. At just 16 years old, she’s already receiving attention from major Division 1 programs and currently plays on one of the country’s top club lacrosse teams.

“Lacrosse is my passion in life,” Rosga said. “I was honored to be named one of the country’s top players in the class of 2022.”

With all of the buzz surrounding her outstanding abilities, Rosga began thinking of her future and how to make sure her dream of playing college lacrosse would come true.

“I had been since March, every day, doing ACL prevention,” Rosga said. “(Tearing my ACL) was honestly the biggest fear of mine.”

For Rosga, ACL prevention meant doing specific exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee and to also increase flexibility.

Despite her best efforts, though, Jaylen’s nightmare came true on July 19th, 2019.

“I just planted, it twisted, and it just went out,” Rosga said. “I did all three: ACL, MCL and meniscus. I was heartbroken.”

Understandably, the injury was a devastating blow for this star athlete.

“I didn’t leave my house for seven days straight,” Rosga said. “Thoughts just came flooding into my head. (I kept thinking of) what I’m going to miss, what I’m not going to be able to do, how long the recovery is and the surgery. It all just came crashing down.”

Every knee is different, though, and Rosga’s case proved unique.

“There was a chance I could heal my MCL ahead of time, and the surgery would just be my ACL and meniscus,” Rosga said. “So, I did physical therapy two times per day. I was working my butt off. My whole month of August was consumed by my knee, and I was like, ‘I’m going to get it better.’”

One week before Rosga’s surgery, however, an MRI revealed her MCL was still two millimeters away from being fully healed.

“It felt like I had redone it,” Rosga said. “That tacked on another two months to my recovery. That tacked on no weight bearing for two months. That tacked on two scars instead of one.”

The road ahead for Rosga would be full of both ups and downs, and her mom was there to film (and provide support) every step of the way.

“The reason I wanted to do this video is because I wanted to give back what I didn’t have when I was looking online,” Rosga said. “I wanted to help anyone and everyone, in any type of way, in what they’re going through. I’ve been through all the emotions. So, I want to share my story, and maybe people might take one thing away or ten things away from it. At least I know I’m helping them in some way, and I’m helping them get through what they’re feeling.”

Part 1 of Jaylen’s Journey is a behind-the-scenes look at facing the unknown, and the very real, raw emotions that come with a serious setback.

Look for Part 2, “Surgery & Recovery,” in the coming weeks.