Seebardi persistent in return to beam
Many athletes that suffer from repeated injuries and constant pain must decide if it is truly worth it to attempt a comeback. Rutgers senior gymnast Prishani Seebadri decided to take the hard road, enduring countless hours of rehabilitation from serious injuries to attempt a return.
Seebadri's injury history began as she tore her labrum during her sophomore season, which required arthroscopic surgery. Following the procedure, she endured her first period of rehab.
Halfway through the 2008 season, Seebadri's enduring problems began. She suffered her first major knee injury on a dismount off of the beam.
"On the landing, I just felt my knee go," Seebadri said. "I had torn my ACL and my meniscus."
Following the injury, her sophomore season was over. After the second surgery of her school career, Seebadri began successfully rehabbing for about six months, finally being cleared to perform gymnastics activity. But she began experiencing discomfort in the knee.
"I tried to compete while in a lot of pain, but I wanted to do it," Seebadri said.
Yet again, on a dismount, this time on bars, Seebadri severely damaged her knee. A series of MRIs revealed that her surgically repaired meniscus and her patellar tendon had not healed properly.
In March 2009, she once again had surgery performed on her knee. Following that surgery, she was finding it difficult to regain her physical form and manage the pain.
"I had a lot of trouble getting [quadriceps] strength back," Seebadri said. "I tried to push through."
An MRI revealed that the repair of her torn meniscus had failed again along with several other issues. She had another surgery roughly six weeks ago in an attempt to repair her lingering issues.
Currently, Seebadri is in a familiar if not comfortable position, rehabbing from a surgery.
"Right now, I'm still rehabbing trying to get quad strength back but still having problems," Seebadri said.
It is unclear if Seebadri will ever be able to return to competition, but what is certain is that she will continue to make every effort to return.
"She has dedication and she doesn't want to go out this way and she wants to contribute to the team," said head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton.
Seebadri is aware that the odds are against her, but she is willing to put in the time because she wants one last chance to compete and help her team.
"I really have to push to get back, but I don't know how realistic it is," Seebadri said. "I go to rehab every day for hours and hours because it's my senior year and I want to help the team."
Her almost obsessive work ethic is one of the few positives to come from her injuries. While being away from gymnastics for an extended time, Seebadri reaffirmed her love for the sport.
"Not being able to do gymnastics and practicing with the team has really made me realize how much I love it," Seebadri said.
She hopes for the chance to end her career on her own terms.
"I really don't want it to end this way," Seebadri said. "[Gymnastics] really has been such a huge part of my life. It really has defined who I am and where I have gotten in my life."