Abrams decides to give knee a break
Mending a surgically repaired knee isn’t a cinch when you need to repeatedly land 20-foot jumps in a halfpipe.
Until skis are equipped with high-tech shock absorbers, skiers’ knees will continue to be abused by the laws of physics.
No one knows this better than Heavenly High Roller team member Brent Abrams of South Lake Tahoe. The halfpipe skier has averaged a knee surgery per season over the past four years.
His latest surgeries, which repaired a torn ACL and meniscus in May, cut into Abrams’ preseason training. As a result, the 21-year-old went into such events as the Winter X Games and U.S. Open with very little on-the-mountain conditioning.
The quick return to competition has taken its toll on Abrams’ surgically repaired left knee, causing him to rethink the remainder of his season.
“Since the U.S. Open my knee has improved, however not enough for it to cope with the high-paced and high-impact lifestyle that comes with competing,” Abrams said. “Recently, I made the decision to pull out of the rest of the season.”
Consequently, Abrams, who is sponsored by several companies in Japan, will not compete in the Japan Open or the Euro Open.
“My sponsors understand my condition and are helping me to rehabilitate correctly and slowly,” said Abrams, who will proceed with rehabbing his left knee at a resort in Japan. “I’ve worked too hard for six years to throw everything away by rushing this rehab.
“The doctor says I need to slow down getting back into everything. He’s explained that if I don’t rehab this knee the right way after all that it has been through, then I might never have an athletically functional knee again.”
Abrams finished 16th in the X Games and came in 15th in the U.S Open, an event where he placed sixth a year earlier.
“I could not finish my third run in the finals at the Open because the pain got so bad,” Abrams said. “I pulled out of the Squaw Ski Tour because my knee didn’t calm down enough after the Open.”
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