Nick Reardon shouldn’t be playing lacrosse right now.
A bad fall in practice right before the season started led to a Type III shoulder separation—a nasty injury , and maybe beyond.
Reardon potentially faced surgery—a move that would’ve sidelined him potentially into his college career—but got a break when the doctors told him intense rehab could get him back on the field.
After spending three days a week at rehab over the last month, Reardon not only got back on the field, he found a way to pick right back up where he left off, scoring a pair of goals and capping his career mark at 100 with a third-quarter goal against Bishop Eustace Wednesday, in just his second game back.
“It’s something I worked for, and I’m just glad I got it,” Reardon said after hitting the century mark. “I’m just real thankful for my teammates and my coach to put me in the right positions.”
Reardon showed no signs of the injury on the milestone goal, swirling around the back of the cage before rocketing a shot from the left side into the back of the net, giving him the career mark and the Eagles the lead in a tough, grind-it-out, 9-7 win.
It was a declaration of his determination, and his rejection of the idea his senior season would be lost.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen,” Reardon said.
The Susquehanna-bound Reardon isn’t back to playing full-time just yet, though. He saw his first action Monday against Holy Cross, logging a handful of minutes and scoring a goal and an assist.
Against Eustace, it was around 10 minutes total, as head coach Mike Yarusso shuffled him in and out of the lineup, part of slow reintroduction to the game.
While he’s glad to have Reardon back, Yarusso said it’s better to take the conservative approach, ensuring the attacker can avoid re-injuring his shoulder and giving the team the best shot through the rest of the season with one of their top offensive players.
“He wants to be there and battle with his teammates,” Yarusso said. “It changes the dynamics on offense for us.”
Everything seems to be going according to plan, Reardon said, despite the grim initial prognosis.
“It was right at the line of surgery,” he said. But being able to avoid going under the knife actually made the rehab process shorter, Reardon said, and he’s been able to get full range of motion back.
“It really hasn’t held me back—I just play the way I always play,” he said.
Coming back also means Reardon will get to play with his brother, Mike, a sophomore, and even though it won’t be for the full season, the elder Reardon said he’s still glad to have the chance.
“That was going to be the one thing I missed the most—playing with him,” Nick Reardon said.
And with Nick the setup man and Mike the finisher, Yarusso said it won’t be long before they get back in a groove and terrorize opponents.
“We’ll see more goals and assists from that tandem,” Yarusso said.