McDONOUGH — Injuries occur in sports and for some athletes, the road to recovery is often long and stressful.
Ola senior and Old Dominion commit Chaz Salter knows about injuries especially in the sport he loves. Salter tore his labrum on a dive for a ball that required surgery. Not only did it require surgery, but it also cost him a majority of his junior year as well.
“I tore my labrum diving for a ball last fall. I had surgery in September which caused me to sit out for a majority of the year,” Salter said. “I was able to play a role at the end of the season and DH when I was needed.”
On the recovery front, the process was tough. For a student and an athlete, physical therapy twice a week for eight straight months means a lot of time spent recovering. Therapy to regain at least most of the same ability that was lost is tedious as well.
“There wasn’t a day where I didn’t have to do some type of exercise for my shoulder,” Salter recalled. “I give all my credit to Dr. Lloyd at Athens Orthopedic in Loganville. He’s definitely one of the best at what he does.”
From a mental standpoint, the toll of recovery does weigh on the mind. Salter says there were many times he felt he’d never be the same.
“There were many times where I felt like I was never going to be the same or I wasn’t going to be able to come back,” Salter admitted. “You just have to give all your trust in your physical therapist and believe that he is taking care of you to get you where you want to be.”
Digging deeper, we asked Salter if he felt like the road to recovery left thoughts of him wanting to quit. Salter was quick to say no to the question but did admit he had questions throughout.
“I never had the feeling of quitting the sport but there were many times where I’d ask myself how in the world will I come back from this,” Salter said. “I just had to believe that God had a plan for me and he was going to put me where I needed to be.”
When Ola took to the field for 2019, Salter was among those players to take the field. With the first pitch — relief came to Salter.
“It was a big relief knowing that I was back and ready to start the new year healthy with my team,” Salter said.
Ola has won five of their six games early this season and Salter’s presence has been noted by the coaches around the program. The senior also believes that a winning tradition is being built this year.
“I believe we’re building a winning tradition here at Ola and I feel that we are the beginning of a new culture here,” Salter said. “We all buy into what our coaches set out for us at practice and we translate it into the game. I believe we have a very experienced team as well. We have 15 seniors and five juniors who all five have been on varsity since they were freshmen. We need to continue to give it 100 percent in practices and continue to try to be perfect in everything we do at practice.”