NORMAN – Less than seven months later Ana Llanusa underwent surgery to repair a damaged knee.
But this week she overcame a major hurdle: full contact.
“Anything they do, I can do it” sixth year security guard said on Friday after the OU women’s basketball team finished training ahead of an upcoming overseas tour. “I don’t have to sit around anymore, so it was really positive and fun.”
Llanusa started the first 10 games of last season before the rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament on December 10th. The clapping was so loud that Llanusa feared at first that she had broken a bone in her leg.
On January 6, she underwent surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear, and although contact with her is allowed, she wears a corset and will likely continue to wear one for some time to come.
However, her return to the court was important to the Sooners.
“She goes for it” OU Coach Jenny Baranchik said. “That part was interesting to see on an individual level, but then when her team sees it, I think it’s really cool.”
Baranczyk said it was unlikely Llanusa would play in games during the team’s tour of France starting next week. But once she’s back in action, Llanusa is hoping to avoid injury, which has been difficult during her college career. She missed a small number of games due to injury during her sophomore and junior years. She then missed the entire 2020/21 season due to a back injury.
Last season was her triumphant return.
In her first 10 games, she averaged 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
An injury followed in a game against BYU.
“The process was difficult,” Llanusa said. “Definitely my worst injury I’ve ever had to deal with.”
She had to wait almost a month after her injury before she had surgery. The first problem was COVID; she tested positive just a day or two after the injury. It wasn’t until she got rid of COVID that she could evaluate her knee to determine her next steps.
Even though Llanusa said her knee injury was extremely bad, she believes she was back to full contact less than seven months after surgery due to how she attacked rehab.
“I started rehab literally the day after the surgery,” she said. “I worked here with Brittany (Merrick, team coach) flexing my leg the day after surgery.
“I think just a mental process, a physical process in general, ACL is like nothing else.”
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU Women’s Basketball: Ana Llanusa goes full contact after anterior cruciate ligament injury