Pierce athletes made of glass?

Research shows that there are at least seven common injuries among athletes, which could be minor or even end a career.

The most common sports injuries are knee injuries, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, tennis elbow, shin splints, groin pulls, and sciatica and hamstring pulls, according to impactphysicalthearpy.com, unitypoint.org and nmortho.com

Athletic Director Bob Lofrano said that many of our athletes this semester have been injured, mostly with knee injuries. Lofrano said that the industry of women’s volleyball points out the fact that a woman’s body is built differently.

“Our women’s volleyball team is currently ranked at number two in the state and has three girls that are unable to play because they have torn ligaments in their knees,” Lofrano said. “One of the ideals, and it’s probably a fact, that women have a different tilt to their pelvic because of possible child birth and that changes the angle on the ligaments. These girls jump and come down then blow their ligaments out. It’s happened for years and we have three starters out because of that this year.”

Women’s volleyball coach Nabil Mardini agreed that knee injuries are most common among his players.

“I would say ankle sprains is number one, although that’s not what my team has been hit with. I would say second would be the knee. ACL or knee sprain, it’s usually in the legs and feet. The third one would be the shoulder, from just overuse.”

Mardini adds that ACL injuries and shoulder injuries are also common in basketball. He said that any athlete can receive a shoulder injury.

“If you don’t take care of your shoulder, you’re going to have issues,” Mardini said.

Athlete trainer Robert Horowitz has been at Pierce for four years and was at Los Angeles City College prior. He said that football usually has the most injuries and is usually followed by soccer.

“We noticed that, with the addition of turf, it’s made our treatment of wound care a little different,” Horowitz said. “It’s more of a burn. It’s not so much a cut or a scrape. It’s a turf burn where you slide across it and it’ll tear you up.”

Without having to check the records, Horowitz noted that there have been at least six to eight season-ending injuries in football. The most common injury among the football players is a concussion, according to football coach Jason Sabolic.

“Second, I would say would be a knee injury such as a ACL, [posterior cruciate ligament] PCL, and an [medial collateral ligament] MCL type of tear,” Sabolic said. “We started off the season with 70 players on the rooster and we are down to 30 to 35 players suited up due to injuries.”

Athlete trainer Leonard Ramirez, who has been at Pierce for 27 years, said that there were many athletes in each sport that were injured this year.

“Volleyball lost two and soccer lost two. That’s just knee injuries that put players out for the season,” Ramirez said. “Soccer lost four [total], two overall for volleyball and football, at least six with knee and there’s even more.”

Although basketball has just begun, there are a few nagging injuries for both men and women.

“We haven’t had anyone where we’ve had to say, ‘You’re going to be gone for the season,’ just the normal stuff,” Ramirez said.

Horowitz said that on average players that don’t have season-ending injuries can be out for three to four weeks. Soccer and women’s volleyball are in the playoffs, but soccer didn’t make it past their first round. No one has attributed injuries as a possible reason to losing the game on Saturday, Nov. 19. Women’s volleyball played their first regional game and Mardini said he’s not too worried even with injuries.

“I lost one player for meniscus and I lost her sister for ACL. These are the two injuries [for the whole season],” Mardini said. “We don’t have a very deep roster right now because we lost them, but we are trying to be healthy. Making sure the girls are icing and stretching, and I think they are doing a good job with that.”