GREEN The story doesn’t always end on a happy note.
Sometimes, the plot twist takes the tale in a difficult direction and for Green senior Damjan Djosanovic, that reality hit hard in his team’s first scrimmage of his last season of high school soccer.
During a scrimmage against Copley, Djosanovic went after a ball in the early portion of the game and in the blink of an eye, his senior season went from one full of optimism and expectation to a giant question mark.
“We had a scrimmage last Thursday and in the third minute, I dislocated me knee and possibly tore my ACL,” Djosanovic said. “I was running after the ball and when I planted my foot, the opposing player hit my knee with his knee. I heard it pop and I knew in that moment, this might be last game of high school career.”
That immediate wave of self-awareness coupled with the physical pain of a serious leg injury left Djosanovic down on the turf, with coaches and trainers attending to him. Because his parents weren’t in attendance, Djosanovic had to break the news to them by phone.
In addition to dealing with his own worries and pain, telling his mother what had happened added another layer to the situation.
“My mom was definitely worried, but we didn’t have anything concrete,” Djosanovic said. “My coaches were worried and so were my teammates and the guys on the other team.”
As sometimes happens with such serious injuries, doctors decided to wait for the swelling to go down before doing an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
The week-plus in between the injury and being able to get the MRI done was a tough one for Djosanovic, who spent much of the time wondering whether he would be able to return to the field at all this season or if his senior season was over before it really began,
“It’s definitely hard I’m hoping it’s not my ACL because if I did tear my ACL, then my season is done,” Djosanovic said. “It’s definitely hard thinking about it.”
In the days since the injury, there has been a steady flow of support and encouragement from his family and coaches. Head coach Jason Nelson reminded Djosanovic to stretch and ice the knee and “texting me every day seeing how it’s going.”
The fact that his injury could also affect his life away from soccer hasn’t set in as much at this point. While he could end up having to navigate the halls of Green High School on crutches if surgery on the knee is needed, right now his thoughts on the injury's impact are mostly tied to the soccer field.
A teammate, Nick Russell, suffered a torn ACL earlier this year and according to Djosanovic, seeing Russell still not ready to return to the field is a tough thought to absorb.
The idea of his team potentially losing two of its midfielders to the same type of knee injury within a single calendar year isn’t a good one, but in the event the news from the MRI is as bad as feared, Djosanovic wants to be ready to help his team in others ways if he can’t suit up.
“I’ll definitely try to lead from the sidelines and be there to cheer them on during games,” Djosanovic said.
It’s not the way he envisioned his senior season unfolding, but given the way the situation has played out, Djosanovic is trying to keep an upbeat mindset and find a way to continue contributing to his team.
Reach Andy at 330-580-8936
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB