West Indian cricket superstar and all-rounder Kieron Pollard returned to the field in under four months not just once, but twice, post-op following reconstructive ACL surgery performed by
UPMC’s orthopedic surgery chair Dr. Freddie Fu, M.D in 2013 and 2015.
Mr. Pollard, 29, also plays cricket for the Mumbai Indians of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Drafted in 2010, he quickly rose to international acclaim. Unfortunately, Pollard’s career took a hit after an ACL injury to his left knee in 2013. He sought care in Pittsburgh from Dr. Fu, and was able to make a remarkably quick comeback after surgery.
The 2015 IPL season was arguably Mr. Pollard’s best ever, with the Mumbai Indians winning the IPL final championship. However, Mr. Pollard suffered yet another ACL injury, this time to his right knee, in late November 2015 at the Cape Cobras’ Ram Slam T20 Challenge, this one potentially career-ending.
“I spun to my left and heard a big, long, loud crack,” Mr. Pollard said. “I immediately knew it was my ACL.”
This injury was more severe than the first, as it included a tear in his meniscus.
Mr. Pollard wanted to get back to the field as soon as possible and wanted to receive the best care available. Following the success of his first ACL injury, Mr. Pollard again traveled to Pittsburgh to receive care from Dr. Fu, who is known worldwide for treating knee-related sports injuries.
Although typical ACL surgery recovery time is several months to a year, Mr. Pollard worked hard to recover sooner.
“I just wanted to do what was necessary to get back playing at a high level,” he said. “I challenged myself to physical therapy six to seven hours a day.”
Mr. Pollard’s hard work paid off as he returned to the field for a professional match this past April.
“I bring it down to willpower,” he said. “I put in the hard work and got rewards.”
The precision and care of Dr. Fu and his team also helped Mr. Pollard’s recovery. In addition to being chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine, Dr. Fu is a past American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) president. Recently, he was inducted into the AOSSM Hall of Fame.
“Unlike where I’m from, everything was in place the day of surgery,” Mr. Pollard said of Dr. Fu’s professionalism. “Everything was structured. That impressed me the most. Every time I step on the cricket field now, it’s thanks to Dr. Fu, his staff and all they have done for me.”