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Home » Testimonials » Jelena Z.

As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.

March 28, 2010

Jelena Z.

In the fall of 2017, I was tackled hard in a high school soccer game. Little did I know what I was in for when I heard I tore my ACL. Tearing your ACL is probably the worst possible news any female soccer player could receive. I knew that I was going to have to fight hard to get back to where I was and that I had a lot of work to do. Luckily for me, I was already working with such great strength trainers, Scott Schriever and Kirk Olson. Kirk called me shortly after we told him the news and he allowed me one day to cry but then he said to me, “it is grind time from here on out”.   The day of my surgery, I was stressing because I had never gone under or even had surgery before. Kirk called me while we were in the parking lot of TCO to reassure me that everything would be okay and that I was in great hands. Scott and Kirk then introduced me to my phenomenal physical therapist, Mike Shirilla, who helped me make my great comeback. When I arrived for my first PT session a few days after surgery, Mike, Scott, and Kirk were all waiting for me at the front door. From that day forward I knew I would have my own personal team and that I would be okay. Mike not only helped me physically but mentally as well which is a huge turning point for this process. Every week he would provide me a new video or podcast to listen to from elite women soccer players, as well as having me follow an ACL club on twitter to inspire me. He made me become a better version of myself.   My surgeon, Dr. Wulf, also helped me feel tremendously better and confident that my recovery would make me stronger. Every visit with him made me feel better about my progress. I worked for 9 long hard months with almost no days off. I had to give up a lot to reach my goal. At the time, it was very hard but I persevered through it and now I’m a lot stronger because of it. I was strength training 3 times a week and doing physical therapy 2 times a week, as well as the athletic competition enhancement (ACE) program through TCO. Tonia and Nate, who ran the ACE program, provided me with a customized return to play routine to get me to my highest potential. During this long, hard process, my TCO team became my family for 9 months and counting.   A key to staying strong is my strength trainer, Scott Schriever. He pushes me every day to keep working harder and improving myself. Having a trainer like Scott, who dedicates a lot of his time to his athletes, is very motivating. A bonus to my recovery was the new biomechanical lab at the Training Haus. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to be tested in this lab. Michael Kiely, who ran the lab, helped me realize what specific things I needed to work on to prevent re-injury and to stay strong.   I was then fortunate enough to be cleared by July of 2018 and had the opportunity to play my first soccer games back from my injury in Iceland and Sweden. It was my goal to play before I got back into high school soccer and, thankfully, we made that happen. My club, Minnesota Thunder Academy, played in the Gothia Cup in Sweden which is compared to as being the Youth World Cup. We got to play against some of the best teams in Sweden and other countries -- and all thanks to my wonderful team at TCO I had the trip of a lifetime. Exactly one year after my surgery, October 16th 2018, I scored the winning goal, which was a header goal in double over time of the section final for my high school soccer team (Minnetonka High School) to punch our ticket into the state tournament. That was the best feeling in the world especially since it was exactly one year post surgery. It just reminded me of how far I’ve come both mentally and physically and how I’ve grown from my injury. Once we got into the state tournament, our first game was at Prior Lake High School, the field where I tore my ACL. That was a big day for me mentally and physically, in addition to the fact that I was about to play a game on the field that ended my sophomore season. I turned that awful memory into a happy one because we ended up winning and were guaranteed two games at the U. S. Bank Stadium for the first time. We then went on and won the Minnesota State High School Class AA Championship. I want to give all my thanks to TCO and the Training Haus for the amazing care team I had that made them my TCO Champions. Without any of them I would not be where I am today and would not be able to share my story. Here is the link I've included to my header goal that advanced us to the state tournament: HERE