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Connor Lade

Morristown, NJ

The 2016 season with the New York Red Bulls was arguably the best season of my career. I never had any major injuries or problems before, but during a mid-season game in Los Angeles, I was chasing an opponent, planted my foot, and when I went to turn, I heard a pop and fell to the ground as my knee buckled. I knew right away something was seriously wrong. When we got back to New York I immediately went to HSS for an MRI and met with Dr. Williams who confirmed that I had torn my ACL and would need surgery.

To suffer a major injury like this at age 27 caused a lot of doubt and fear as I wondered if I would ever play again. Helping to alleviate that fear was Dr. Williams and Hospital for Special Surgery because I know their reputation as a first-class institution. Dr. Williams’ confidence that I would come back and be stronger definitely had an impression on me.

Prior to the surgery, Dr. Williams and I sat down and put together a plan. He helped me set realistic goals for my operation and recovery, from getting off crutches, to getting off a cane, walking, driving, and then ultimately running. Having these small goals along the way took the burden off wondering when I would play again. Instead I focused on smaller, more achievable goals until I was ready. The personal attention I received from Dr. Williams and the staff at HSS made me feel like my recovery was their priority and helped me get back to what I loved to do faster than I would have thought.

For my rehab, I worked with Patrick Vignona at HSS who is an incredible PT and also a soccer player who had torn his own ACL before. It was nice to do rehab with someone who had been through the same experience and was skilled in exactly what needed to be done. The entire staff in HSS Sports Rehab was the best, and they still consistently check in to check up on me.

Getting back on the field at Red Bull Arena was one of the biggest and proudest moments of my career. My body feels stronger than it has ever been. I’m going to keep playing soccer as long as my body lets me, and as long as I have great doctors like Dr. Williams and HSS in my corner, I count myself extremely lucky.