Athletic Trainers Help to Get Students Back in the Game

Shea McClellan’s road to recovery after his MCL tear


Alicia Reid, with permission

Abington High School’s Athletic Trainer Alicia Reid attends to junior Shea McClellan for a physical therapy session at the high school. McClellan endured a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear at a football scrimmage in March.

Joshua Richards, Contributor

Injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to sports. A lot of sports require you to put your body on the line for the goal of winning.

However, while doing so you put yourself at risk for major injury. All it takes is one major injury to the star player of a team for a team’s entire season to become derailed.

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The overall goal is to get the athlete back to playing without pain”

— Ms. Alicia Reid, Athletic Trainer

Injuries are a part of the game and there is no avoiding them. Teams and players must adapt to the “next man up” mentality and hope the substitute can fill the role of the starter.  

On Saturday, March 6, Abington High School junior Shea McClellan suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear on a a football scrimmage non-contact play against Dennis Yarmouth that has kept him off the field until very recently.

McClellan described the rehab process of getting back to full strength. “It is a long and tiring process that takes a lot of patience and motivation,” he said. 

The junior has been going to physical therapy two days a week, as well as getting checked out by Ms. Alicia Reid, Abington’s Athletic Trainer, to receive work on his leg 

Abington High School junior athlete Shea McClellan is recovering from a recent sports injury. (Josh Richards, with permission)

One of Ms. Reid’s roles at the high school is to help injured athletes. “I am the first person on the scene of an injury. I evaluate the patient and think about how to treat the injury,” Reid said. “The overall goal is to get the athlete back to playing without pain.  

McClellan’s medial collateral ligament tear can sometimes keep an athlete off the fields for a month or more. “MCL tears are not a very common injury. The recovery process can take 4-8 weeks, Reid said.

As of April 29, McClellan said, “Although my knee is much better, the lateral movements are tough and my knee is very weak.”

Reid called McClellan’s injury “an atypical case” and said that he is “healing very well from his injury.”

For an athlete that suffers an injury in the middle of a sports season, it is not easy to deal with the pain of the injury on top of knowing that it will also sideline them. Working with an athletic trainer can make a difference.

Reid said that “due to the hard work that he [McClellan] put in during the rehab process, he was able to return to a collision sport like football faster than the average person.” 

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