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April 12, 1981 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-12

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The Michigan Daily

Page 8

Sunday, April 12, 1981

The Michigan Doily


Second of a two-part series
Before John Wangler was wheeled in-
to surgery, a doctor told his mother that
he "will be lucky to walk without a
limp." Exactly one year after the
Michigan quarterback's knee was
operated on for an injury incurred
during the 1979 Gator Bowl, he guided
the Wolverines to their first Rose Bowl
victory in 16 years. And there was not
the slightest trace of a limp.
The circumstances surrounding
Wangler's injury are not uncommon in
the world of professional sports. The
average career for an NFL player lasts
only 4.7 years, and 20 percent of those
who survive that long suffer from some
form of knee damage.
"PRECAUTION" has always been
the keyword for judgments made by
trainers and team physicians with

ing keA
regard to athletes. Frequent physical
examinations, the use of joint guards or
braces, and massive quantities of tape
(150 miles of it, on the average, per
season for an NFL team) are all
methods by which athletes attempt to
avoid injury. No one is injury-proof,
however, and when these tactics are not
enough to keep an athlete healthy, the
task becomes one of repairing the in-
Wangler ended up on the operating
table after a tackle behind the line of
scrimmage resulted in a torn ligament
and damage to the surrounding car-
After the Gator Bowl, Wangler retur-
ned to Ann Arbor with the rest of the
team and was admitted into St.
Joseph's Mercy hospital, where Dr.
Gerald O'Connor, a team physician for
the Michigan athletic department and

y to Wa
head of the Sports Medicine Clinic at
University Hospital, performed the
After surgery, the prognosis was bet-
ter for Wangler's recovery, but it was
,still uncertain whether he would ever
be able to.play again.
"IT WAS AFTER he (O'Connor)
looked inside, Wangler said about the
change in the original prognosis. "I
thought I would play again. He said you
can't really tell with this type of in-
jury-sometimes they really don't
heal," the fifth-year senior recalled. He
attributed his comeback to the fact that
he refused to "slack off during
According. to Russ Miller, the head
Michigan athletic trainer and the man
who oversaw Wangler's rehabilitation,
the quarterback then "was put on a
knee rehab' program," which consist-
ted of "specific exercises to strengthen
the muscle around the injury and to get
normal motion back to the knee."
The Royal Oak native progressed
quickly enough to be jogging by June
and sprinting in July. And though he
admitted that his knee was "kind of
sore" at the start of last season,
Wangler added that he "was 100 per-
cent by midseason."
MILLER, however, is somewhat
skeptical , saying that he "didn't know
any person who is ever back to 1Q0 per-
cent after surgery." He did note that, in
genereal, trainers work with an athlete
to "get their strength back-sometimes

ngler 8
stronger than it was before (the
While his injury might be harmful to
Wangler's future (as a high selection in
the professional draft is very unlikely),
the fact that he has made a remarkable
recovery is quite an achievement in it-
After several years of trouble with his
knees, former New York Jet signal-
caller Joe Namath is now about to un-
dergo surgery to have his entire
kneecap replaced with an artificial
WHILE MANY injuries are caused
by some kind of an accident, other spor-
ts-related debilitations directly result
from the strain of playing the sport.
Tim McCormick, center for the
Michigan basketball team, has been
suffering from tendinitis (inflam-
mation of the tendons) in his knees for
the last three years.
Unlike Wangler's injury, however,
the freshman's condition cannot be
cured simply by an operation. "All the
doctors I've talked to say that surgery
would be unethical because there is
nothing to repair," said McCormick.
THE CLARKSTON native's knees
have caused "quite a bit" of problems'
for him on the court, he said. "When
something causes pain, it affects your
momentum and slows you down."
McCormick's therapy is not unlike
that of Wangler. Working with the
trainers, he lifts weights and stretches
his knees with the hope of overcoming


his injury.
As an added measure, McCormick is
considering the possibility of going to
San Diego this summer to have a team
of specialists examine him.
THE 6-10 CENTER'S problem is
common among basketball players.
Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76'ers
has a similar condition, and, like Mc-
Cormick, he places heat on his knees
before each game and ices them after it
is over.
While both McCormick and Wangler
have undergone therapy which any
person not affiliated with a sports
program might go through, there are
some treatments in sports medicine
which normally are only used for
Two of these programs, hormone in-
jections and certain forms of blood
transfusions, have not been seen as
favorable by the sporting world.
DURING THE 1976 summer Olym-
pics in Montreal, accusations surfaced
that athletes were taking out blood
from themselves only to ,replace it right
before they competed in an event. The
human body replenishes lost blood
quickly and thus the extra injection
would give an athlete added strength.
In the same manner, the injection of
additional hormones into the body in-
creases an athlete's physical
capabilities. By means of a urine test, it
is possible to tell if such measures have
been taken by an athelte.
Through its Exercise and Fitness

rehabilitation saves career

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Laboratory, Ohio State utilizes another
procedure to aid its athletes, called a
lactic acid test. The test measuresthe
amount of lactic acid in a persons-,,'
bloodstream to see whether he or she is , -
functioning with an "oxygen debt" (in-
sufficient oxygen for the muscles to r
function). By frequent testing, a trainer.., k
can determine what type of practices,
the athlete should go through-whether , ,
they should be short, strenuous, long or
easy workouts.
Each year new techniques are
developed to make the athlete less t
vulnerable to injury. Many of these new,
treatments have been as big an aid, W }
the non-athlete. Yet as long as people.-,-
engage in athletics, whether on the
professional level or just going out form ,,.
jog, the area of sports medicine will of,,,,
necessity continue to expand.


Wolverines smash W isconsin,

7m' 2'

The nationally 12th ranked Michigan
men's tennis team settled what first
singles player Michael Leach referred
to as a "personal vendetta" against
Wisconsin yesterday, downing the Bad-
gers, 7-2. The match began on the var-
sity tennis courts outside of the Track
and Tennis Building but was finished at
the Liberty Racquet Club after rain set
Wisconsin, which upset the Michigan

netters in 1978, was the last team to
defeat the netters in a dual meet.
"COMING OFF of yesterday's im-
portant victory against Minnesota, I
was worried that we wouldn't be that up
to play well today," said head coach



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call 763- 1107

Brian Eisner. "I knew we'd beat them,
but a good team has to be concerned not
only with the team wins, but individual
ones as well. I'm really pleased with
how we did. Everyone was just
psyched-up to win."
Junior Leach also had a "vendetta"
of his own to settle. His 'singles op-
ponent, Dave Pelisek, had defeated him
last December in ..the Big Ten tour-
nament at Liberty Racquet Club. Leach
evened the score yesterday with his
14th consecutive victory of the season, a
6=1, 6-2 pasting of Pelisek.
"I wanted revenge," said Leach.
"Pelisek beat me quite soundly in
December, and I just had to return the
IN OTHER SINGLES competition,
Matt Horwitch got by Andy Ringlien 6-
4, 6-1 at second singles; Ann Arborite
Tom Haney delighted the hometown
audience by beating Tom Annear, 6-7, 6-
1, 6-3, at fifth singles; and sixth singles
player Ihor Debryn lost to John Wayne,
4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
In doubles action, the formidable first
doubles combination of Leach and
Horwitch managed to whip by

Ringlien and VanWalleghem, 6-1, 64,
before the rain began.
With play resuing indoors, the second
doubles pair of Haney and Laser were
defeated by Pelisek and Browne, 4-6,,f-.-
1, 64; and at third doubles, Mees and w
Dan McLaughlin blew past tfe "
Badgers' duo, 6-1,6-2.
Eisner was a*pecially pleased with
Leach's play. "Mike's win. was very e
important to him," the coach said.
"When he lost to Pelisek in Big Tens, he
was top-ranked but suffering from the
flu. Today he was so strong that he
never let Pelisek even get started."
Leach, who is currently ranked 12th
nationally, has a good chance of advan-
cing to the tap ten when the next
rankings come out, according to
This week the Wolverines meet
Michigan State on Thursday in East

What happens to e P
who PONT oily the /
rJ /

... pleased with strong performance

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wins at 2nd


American League
Detroit 6, Toronto 2
New York 5, Texas I
Oakland 3, Minnesota 0
Milwaukee 5, Cleveland 3
National League
Philadelphia 5, St. Louis 2
Chicago 3, New York I
San Francisco 2, San Diego 0
Montreal at Pittsburgh, ppd. rain
Cincinnati 3, Atlanta 2
Michigan 7, Ohio State 2
Michigan State 24, Detroit 1-2
Michigan 7, Wisconsin 2

Michigan Michigan State 4
NHI, Playoffs
Quebec 2, Philadelphia 0
(Philadelphia leads series, 2-1)


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