Barbe High (Lake Charles, La.) shortstop Garin Cecchini, who ranks No. 14 in the Baseball America Top 100, injured his right knee on Saturday, March 13 and will have surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament on March 19. Dr. James Andrews will conduct the surgery at his office in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
It is not yet known how severe the tear is or how much time he could miss. If it is a full tear of the ACL, he could miss six months.
"He's such a high-profile kid, so we've been having every Tom, Dick and Harry coming in and we started getting calls and stuff about, 'Is hurt, what's up with him?'," Garin's mother and Barbe assistant coach Raissa Cecchini said. "So, we took it upon ourselves to bring him to the doctor. He has no swelling, it doesn't hurt him, he just has a little stiffness on the right side, in the back where that tendon is. We decided, you know we're going to have to get a clean bill of health anyway, so we took him in and they said they think he has a torn ACL."
Cecchini was going back to first base on a pickoff attempt when he hyper-extended his knee. That was in the first game of a double-header. He played designated hitter in the second game and hit a home run, a double, walked twice and stole two bases.
Update (March 19): Cecchini's surgery went well this morning and the only damage was indeed the tear to his ACL. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery using part of Garin's patellar tendon and the whole procedure took about a half hour.
Cecchini's mother, Raissa, said Garin was in good spirits after the surgery.
"He's doing good," Raissa said. "He said, 'I'm just going to work and work hard and try and get myself back to where I was.' It's funny, he said, 'Well, I'm going to sit in the chair and hit one-handed drills, I'm going to throw in the cages sitting in the chair. I'm going to do my therapy and I'm going to get stronger lifting upper body and my abs and when the doctor says I can swim again, I'm going to swim again.' It's going to make him a stronger person and make him appreciate baseball a little more."
Cecchini begins physical therapy tomorrow, March 20. Although recovery times vary from person to person, the plan is for Garin to be on cruches for about 10 days and in the knee brace for four weeks and he can start running in about 14 weeks.
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