The linebacker was gutted after working his way into a starting role.
“It was a heart-breaker,” Kaba said Wednesday during spring practice. “I busted my tail that camp to get a starting role on the team and just for everything to get taken away from me that fast in the second game of the season, that early in the game. It just hurt me. I knew what it was as soon as I felt the pop. Literally as soon as I fell on the ground I was just like, ‘Why? How could this be happening right now?’”
The good news for Gamecocks fans is that Kaba is already working his way through his rehabilitation, hoping to be ready in time to play this fall.
He won’t do a whole lot during spring practice as he focuses on the rehab instead. But Kaba’s outlook remains about as bright as it could be, in part because he’s already gone through a torn ACL once.
“I know, I’ve been through the process already, so I know what to expect,” Kaba said. “I know how to go about this type of injury, so everything’s been good so far.”
The emotional toll of an injury
The one thing Mohamed Kaba expanded on that not every athlete is willing to talk about is the emotional toll an injury like a torn ACL can have on a player.
It is brutal.
“I felt like for the first two weeks I was really just trying to get all the emotions out. There’s no way you can go through something like that and just be like, ‘I’m good, I’m going to be better later,’” he explained. “You’re going to feel some type of way about it.”
The reasoning is pretty straightforward. On top of what it means going forward — you can’t play for something in the range of nine months — it also negates all the work you’ve already put in.
“If you look at it in my eyes, I went through spring camp, summer camp, fall camp doing all that work to get where I was at and everything was snatched from me that fast,” Kaba said. “Once you get the emotions out the way you know it’s time to work. After surgery. You’re going to have some down days. Still right now I have a couple down days because everything’s repetitive, but I know what’s going to come with the rehabbing and everything, so just staying on course and everything.”
As Mohamed Kaba works back from torn ACL, he has top-notch treatment
The one thing that Kaba underscored as he works his way back from a torn ACL is that he’s in a good place for rehab.
South Carolina has some top-notch facilities. He walked reporters through some of what he’s doing this spring.
“Right now I’m on the treadmill like an anti-gravity treadmill, so I’m running 80% of my body weight right now on the treadmill,” Kaba said.
As the Mohamed Kaba torn ACL recovery continues, he expects it to go well. He’s got much better facilities and dedicated staffers than he had last time around.
“Compared to the first surgery I had, I can say that this surgery was 10 times better than my first surgery, because you’ve got to take into account when I had it in high school,” Kaba said. “I was only doing rehab two days a week. I’m at facilities where I’ve got everything I need for this type of injury to get better and get back right, so I’m just taking advantage of everything I have right in front of me.”
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