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Road to Recovery

After being sidelined for a year and a half, University of Windsor Men’s basketball player Tesloth Simon is ready to hit the court.

By: Paige Johnston

Tearing his meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament and suffering a bone contusion in his knee joint in August 2017 robbed Simon of his first year as a Lancer. The Kitchener native had never experienced injury before. Since then, he has been working hard in rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

“It was a lot of hard work” explained the sophomore. “During my recovery phase, my normal day was still at least 5 hours of basketball. I would come in, do therapy, complete my own weight session, and then every evening I would practice a skill,” explained Simon.

The six-foot-three-inch guard says his determination did not come easily during the early parts of his injury. He explained the difficulties he had in the beginning and where his focus shifted to in order to overcome this barrier.

“I remember spending two straight days in bed right after my injury watching movies, while my girlfriend and parents tried to motivate me to look at the bright side of things, but you know at that time, it was hard. After I spoke to my coach I just knew I couldn’t be a victim or else it would drag me down. After that weekend I started looking at the positives and took care of everything I could control at that moment. At that time, it was my academics that were controllable. If I did not take care of my grades I knew I would not be able to play the following year so this is something I focused on.”

Simon’s road to Windsor was unlike many other journeys. He spent his first two years of eligibility playing at Missouri University Science and Technology, an NCAA Division II school located in Rolla, Missouri.

Simon’s goal of teaching in Canada compelled him to trade in his NCAA eligibility for a career in U Sports.

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher in Canada and I knew going back for another year would postpone my academics so I had to choose either stay there for athletics or come to Canada for academics and athletics”

Out of high school, Simon had visited University of Windsor three times before electing to continue his basketball career north of the border.

“I always knew Windsor was a good program,” he said. “Head Coach Chris Oliver flew me here for spring break during my second season at Missouri. What really sold me was his focus on player development. I do not like coaches overcontrolling things, with Oliver he shows you the tools and then it’s up to you to perform, and I like that.”

Oliver suggests Simon’s experience in the NCAA will help him this season, stating that the NCAA’s physically demanding gameplay sped his development. He thinks number 11 will be able to use this to his advantage this season and expects him to play an important role with the Lancers.

“When Tesloth is back to full strength he will be expected to start and contribute daily to our success,” he says. “No one has ever worked harder in our program to get back to full strength” We trust the medical process and the help of so many amazing athletic therapists here at the University that have helped Tesloth along the way to recovery.”

Simon was cleared by his surgeon from Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic on October, 15thand is expected to be ready for their home opener on November, 2nd.

One of Simon’s athletic therapists at the University of Windsor, Adam Ellwood reflected on Simon’s progress throughout his injury, from which he expects limited time before Tesloth returns to the playing field.

“Tesloth has had a pretty smooth recovery,” says Ellwood. “It’s been uphill the entire time, he works extremely hard and, therefore, we have not had too many big setbacks. We do not promise timelines to our athletes, but Tesloth should be returning to the court very shortly.”

As are death and taxes to life, unforeseen circumstances and setbacks are common in the world of sport. Successful comebacks, however, are uncertain, difficult, and not handed out for free. Simon has lost a season, hustled in rehabilitation, and rebuilt his body from the ground up. The hard work is far from over, but the St. Denis Centre court is now his to own this upcoming season.

 

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