The UCL Recovery Process

One of the toughest injuries in baseball for a pitcher is Tommy John Surgery, in which you tear your UCL — a ligament in your elbow. Junior sports communication major Michael Thomason, who is on the Lions baseball team, tore his UCL last season and is now almost fully recovered from his injury and is ready for the 2022 season to start. 

Thomason has proven to be one of the hardest workers on the team, and his coaches and teammates were devastated to see him go out with this injury last season. He was looking for a big spot in the bullpen last year, but he is now more determined than ever and has learned a lot from his recovery process. 

“It definitely took a lot of work both mentally and physically, but looking back on it I wouldn’t change this journey for the world,” said Thomason. “It’s been a blessing in disguise and I honestly have grown in ways I never would have expected.” 

Thomason has developed a lot of good thoughts even though he had to miss a season. Instead of doubting himself, he worked even harder to fully recover and become a better pitcher than before. He is determined to play a big role for the team this year on the pitching staff. He has not just improved physically, but he has worked harder mentally to overcome this injury and not just shutting down and not working as hard. Coaches have recognized this work. 

“He has been working really hard in his physical therapy and is dedicated to do anything to get out back on that field,” said team graduate assistant Ethan Darrow. “We hope for a bright future for Mike and hope to see him succeed this season for the team. Mike has been a leader for us on and off the field and we hope to see him help lead us to a title this season.” 

The UCL is definitely a major injury to come back from, but as one of the left-handed pitchers on the staff, coaches hope Thomason could be a big factor this upcoming season. Thomason said he’s ready for the challenge.

“Now I am in the final stages of my recovery and it really shows me how powerful God and hard work truly are,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back on a mound again and compete.” 

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