UConn junior guard Caroline Doty will miss the entire 2010-11 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and will then begin the rehabilitation process.
Doty had been experiencing some discomfort in her knee throughout the summer. She ultimately tweaked it again on a layup last month while working at a camp.
X-rays taken revealed no structural damage. An MRI confirmed a tear.
“She said she tweaked it a couple times, but nothing that caused pain or swelling,’’ said Kevin Doty, Caroline’s father. “So she thought everything was fine. She tweaked it again at a camp down this way. She landed on it funny and she said, ‘I tweaked it a little bit, there is a little bit of pain and I have a little bit of swelling.’ Who knows when it happened. She is walking around fine right now like you would never know she was injured.’’
It is the third time Doty has torn the ACL in her left knee. She is likely to undergo surgery shortly after the fall semester gets underway.
Doty was initially examined by UConn team doctor Robert Arciero in the last couple of weeks. Doty, her father and Arciero visited New York Giants team physician Russell Warren at the Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan Thursday morning. That is when the extent of the injury was finalized.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma and team trainer Rosemary Ragle were also in attendance to provide their support.
“Apparently, looking at the MRIs they kind of concluded that it looks like the graft (from her second surgery) never really took,’’ Kevin Doty said. “So it could’ve been just wearing away over time. It was a ticking time bomb. When they shot the MRI it was like almost 80, 85 percent torn.’’
Kevin Doty said Caroline is walking around “chipper as can be’’ and at this point it is difficult to tell that anything is wrong with her. Kevin Doty is taking the news much harder.
“It’s horrible,’’ he said. “The poor kid’s snake-bitten. Even Dr. Warren said, `You are a specimen. Your muscularity; your structure; your joints. You’re perfect.’ He goes `this is surreal. This should not be happening to an athlete looking at you for your structure, your muscle tone and everything else that you’ve got going on.’ It’s unbelievable.’’
Doty, who planned to attend Point Guard College this week at Emmanuel College in Boston, missed the final 22 games of her freshman season in 2008-09 after tearing the ACL in her left knee late in the first half against Syracuse Jan. 17, 2009.
Doty, who will retain two years of eligibility, also tore the ACL in the same knee during a soccer game in her senior year at Germantown Academy. She averaged 6.8 points and 3.5 assists in 25.3 minutes in 39 games (38 starts) last season as the Huskies completed their second straight 39-0 season.
“We are all obviously disappointed for Caroline,’’ Auriemma said. “But we know that she will work very hard to be ready for next season.’’
Auriemma said in June that he planned to again use Doty at point guard this season, bringing prized freshman Bria Hartley off the bench. It appears now that Hartley and senior Lorin Dixon will compete for the starting spot during the preseason.
Junior Tiffany Hayes also spent time at point guard last season.
Auriemma said Doty will not return last this season.
“We were talking a little bit, and basically what Geno said was, `Hey, look, you will have a full year to recover properly.’ It’s nice of him to look at it that way,’’ Kevin Doty said. “That is part of the reason we are at UConn, because of that kind of caring approach. It really shows when something like this happens how much he really cares for the kids. He’s very caring, very compassionate.’’