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Reports: Gatt suspected to have torn ACL again, out indefinitely

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March has been a brutal month for American players recovering from knee injuries.

According to several reports out of Norway, Josh Gatt suffered a knock in training recently and Molde FK believe it is the same ACL tear that the 22-year-old winger only recently recovered from. Gatt has since returned to the United States to be examined by a specialist and determine the true severity of the knee issue.

Gatt had been out of action since sustaining the initial injury last July, but was hoping to be ready to return to the fray for Molde in their season opener this weekend. This latest knock has ruined any chance of that for the talented speedster, who has had his share of problems staying healthy in recent years.

Earlier this month, Stuart Holden was involved in a similar situation. Holden was attempting to recover from his latest ACL tear before suffering a knee injury in a game for Bolton Wanderers’ Under-21 team. Holden’s timetable for recovery is 6-9 months.

What do you make of this development? Do you see Gatt returning to Molde this season?¬†Worried that Gatt will lose some of his blazing speed and won’t be the same player that he once was?

Share your thoughts below.


    • This is an “American” news website, so you will hear more news about American players, and therefore a higher frequency of reports about ACL injuries happening to American players. I’m sure Mexicans have their fair share of ACL injuries.

  1. I personally think these gets are rushed back to action far too soon after ACL surgery. No, I am not a international level player, but I did play soccer in college, and have played at a high level for many years. I tore my left ACL, and had a reconstruction with an achilles tendon allograft a few years ago. I was diligent with post-op rehab and PT. I’m an active person, and also no “weekend warrior.” I cycle regularly, swim, and run, and let me tell you, at 6 months post-op, there was NO WAY I was ready to play soccer. It was a SOLID 12 months before I was ready to play. Obviously Stuart Holden and Josh Gatt are better and more “trained” players than I, but I still assert that perhaps 9 months of rehab, PT, and conditioning would be better before considering a return to international level or professional club level competition. My two cents…

  2. You must have notoriously bad luck if a writer can describe you as being “expected” to have another torn ACL. Did you mean “suspected”?

    In all seriousness, this is devastating for Gatt. I can’t tell if it’s better or worse that he reinjured the same knee, as opposed to messing up his other knee.

  3. Revision ACL surgeries have much worse success rate than the initial one, so not a good outlook for these guys. And I do think they rush back too quickly. The docs say that 7 months is actually the weakest time for the implant. The knee may feel good at that point, but the graft isn’t fully back to normal.

  4. Hopefully he will fully recover now that the pressure to push for a World Cup spot is gone. He’s young and talented and will have a successful career regardless of if he ever gets to be a NT player. Wish him a fast recovery.

    In the meantime, Ben Spencer is looking good and I hope he lights it up for the Indy Eleven

  5. Bad, bad news for a player whose biggest weapon was his speed. I’m really sad to hear this news. Also, I can’t believe he’s already 23. I remember hearing about him at 18 – doesn’t seem so long ago. Best of luck, Josh!

  6. You would expect these knee problems from the older players, but not Gatt, Holden and Chandler. Gatt has almost been as bad as Holden with his constant injuries.

    • I thought Gatt would be big. He lacks technique, but his speed is monsterous. I was hoping he’d make a move to the Dutch league this summer.

      Back to back knee injuries on a player relying on speed at such a young age doesn’t look good. And he wasn’t really rushed back. I thought they gave him extra time to recover.

  7. Uh oh. I knew I shouldn’t have named my first born Stuart Holden John O’Brien Joshua Gatt. Poor kid tore his ACL coming out of the womb.

  8. This is why I keep telling people there is little chance of Falcao featuring in the WC and even if he tries it would be a mistake. Trying to rush back from a serious injury like this is almost setting you up for another one.

    • No question about it. Doctors used to say 9-12 months just to return…and longer to get all the speed and strength back. The thinking was it took at least 6 months for the new ligament — which isn’t really a ligament, but a harvested tendon section — to actually turn into a ligament.

      The idea that you can safely start training now 4 months later and 6 months in, you’re ready for professional training including contact and high-speed turns no a planted foot — it’s nonsense. Yes, modern equipment allows for far faster range of motion and even muscle recovery, which now begins in the post-op recovery room, instead of weeks later — but, there’s still fundamental weakness in the ligament. Moreover, we now know there’s a 5th ligament which is invariably torn, for which there is no repair protocol. The upshot is that a previously injured knee is inherently unstable, and recovery should be allowed much more time to proceed before putting an athlete back into such perilous activity. They are confusing the return of visible speed and strength with a structurally sound ligament. The ligament takes longer.

      • I appreciate your insight into this. Assuming that you’re not making it all up. But it does just seem like they’re trying to get players back ridiculously quick. For those of us who aren’t doctors or don’t know much about the details, all we can trust is what the experts say.

      • Adrian Peterson defied medical logic when he came back from his. I feel like athletes have these hopeful expectations for recovery based on exceptions like AP rather than the more traditional/proven timetables.

      • He’s not making it up. Anyone who has had an ACL tear learns a lot about what docs can and can’t do. They can’t make grafts turn into ligaments any faster, and still don’t know much about how to prevent problems down the road such as arthritis.

      • @Eric W – My unsolicited advice…
        Become an authority on topics that you have interests and opinions.

        Don’t believe the experts. If it’s all new to you, use it as a starting point, and not the end point.

        As a grant-funded scientist, I’m getting fed up with the mentality that the experts have all the answers.

        All we can really trust is ourselves.

      • Naw, you can’t trust the experts. It’s not that they are always wrong. It’s that what and where they learned traps them by their background and group think. Certainly don’t trust people in social sciences.

        A great example of this is the IMF and the World Bank. They are essentially useless. They have been trying to “fix” Africa for 50 years and spent billions of dollars and essentially accomplished nothing.

        A good book on the subject is Tropical Gangsters.

      • Wow that really makes no sense. “All we can trust is ourselves” doesn’t work when you’re talking about complicated medical and science. Yes…you can pick up some knowledge on some of these subjects, but experts are called that for a reason and while it might not be a guarantee that they know everything they should be trusted more than you suggest and far more than any fly by night cursory knowledge you can pick up because…,what you are learning from was written by….an “expert”.

      • One of the preeminent knee guys in the world, one who developed many of the procedures that are in use today, works in Pittsburgh at UPMC (The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). He tells anyone and everyone who will listen to him that doctors are rushing athletes back into competition way too fast. When he tells athletes 9-12 months (which is pretty standard) he means that normally in 9 months they will be able to start getting back to their specific sport, not that in 9 months they will be healed and ready to return to whatever level of competition they were previously playing. In other words, Gatt got hurt last July, so Gatt should not have even stepped onto the field for a practice until at least April, and he wouldn’t have been ready for full speed and full contact work for many weeks after that.

        Of course every case is different, but much less than nine months does not give the graft enough time to fully heal, and that at around six or seven months, when people who are rushing themselves to try come back, the graft is actually at it’s weakest point. He thinks there are a lot of doctors who are doing these procedures these days on athletes who are complicit in allowing athletes, from kids in high school to pros who make a lot of money, to come back too fast to their long term detriment.

  9. Another promising talent with busted knees before he hits 30. I hope he has a full and fast recovery, and retains some of his natural skills.


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