After suffering a knee injury last season on Tour, Rocky Carson, from Landera Ranch, California says he “feels like everything is good to go.”
At the 2017 Phase IV Scientific Health & Performance Pro/Am in Canoga Park, California, Carson felt something uncomfortable in his knee after his semi-final match with Daniel De La Rosa, residing in Gilbert, Arizona.
A previous torn meniscus from outdoor competition was re-aggravated at the Tier 1 tournament in Canoga Park and Carson continued to play through it. After losing the finals to Kane Waselenchuk, residing in Austin, Texas, Carson decided to take matters into his own hands. Carson, thinking it was a minor torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), had stem cell therapy to help temporarily repair his knee.
Playing in eight of 11 Tier 1 tournaments from the International Racquetball Tour’s (IRT) 2017-2018 season, Carson continued to put that injured knee to use. Having torn his meniscus in the first half of the season, and recovering but still playing after surgery in the second half of the season, Carson continued to prove his love for the game
“The opportunity to go out and compete, I mean that’s what I live for,” said Carson. “I felt like I was pretty sharp out there, and I’m never going to leave a tournament on the table if I think I can compete.”
After the end of last season, Carson took three weeks to allow swelling to decrease before, “getting back to what I know.” Pushing hard to train and compete during the offseason, Carson wanted to do everything he could to get back to 100% as soon as possible.
“The knee gets a little stiff more often, but overall it doesn’t effect me at all,” said Carson. “It may take me a little longer to warm it up, but the knee doesn’t harm my racquetball game. I’m closing in on 40-years-old so I can’t say I’m at 100%, but the capability of playing at a high level is there!”
High level racquetball is all Rocky Carson knows in his time on Tour. A US Open Champion, National Champion, National Doubles Champion, #1 Ranked Player in the World at season’s end twice, Carson surrounds himself with greatness. In the current 2018-2019 season, Carson has already won a Tier 1 event, the MWRA Season Opener in Laurel, Maryland.
Carson mentioned he was excited to get back to the Glasscourt Swim & Fitness Center in Lombard, Illinois for the 34th Annual Shamrock Shootout.
“It’s a different type of tournament, there’s always a different style up in Chicago (Lombard),” said Carson. “The glasscourt is different than most courts, you’ll get some bad bounces. But you got to remember you’ll get a lot of bounces that go your way too, have to live with the bad and take the good when you get a chance.”
In last season’s event, Carson lost to Andree Parrilla, from San Luis Porto Si, Mexico in a three-game tiebreaker 15-12, 14-15, 11-8. Parrilla got the best of Carson last year, but we’ll have to wait and see how the draw shapes out before we see a rematch.
“I felt like I way playing a buzzsaw last year, he played amazing racquetball, he deserved that win,” said Carson. “If I get matched up with him again I’ll stick to my game plan and try to execute my shots. As long as I do that, I feel confident in any match I play.”
The 34th Annual Shamrock Shootout will take place March 14-17 in Lombard, Illinois at the Glass Court & Fitness Center. Tune into the IRT Network, IRT Facebook or IRT YouTube platforms to check out the #2 ranked player in the world, Rocky Carson, and all the other top-notch athletes that play on Tour!
HEAD STAFF WRITER
Kelly R. Diesel