#11-ranked Ben Croft is out for the rest of the 2015-2016 men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season with a shoulder injury.
Croft has made two tournament appearances this season at the Novasors Ghost of Georgetown Kansas City Open in September and The UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships in October. At The US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota he repeated as doubles champions with Kane Waselenchuk.
“Obviously I came back a little early for the US Open and definitely set myself back,” Croft said. “I really wanted to play doubles with Kane and not let him down, so I felt I had an obligation to play my hardest and try to win, even if that meant delaying my comeback to the tour.”
He plans to rest his shoulder and make sure he is back at 100 percent before coming back to play on the tour. “Since I’ve dropped out of the top 8, there’s no real rush to come back now,” Croft said of giving time for his shoulder to heal. “I’m pretty confident that it won’t take long to get back into the top 8.”
If he plays in the second half of the season it would be in the final tournament of the year at The Pro Kennex Tournament of Champions May 12-15 in Portland, Oregon.
Croft initially injured his shoulder in November of 2013 at The Garden City Turkey Shootout and an MRI in January of 2014 revealed a SLAP tear (superior labral tear from anterior to posterior) on his right labrum. In April 2015 he had surgery to repair the SLAP tear and a PAINT tear in his rotator cuff.
By Eric Mueller
Eric Mueller started working with the IRT after joining the 2014 UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships Media Team, where he garnered coverage for top racquetball pros and amateurs in their hometown media while also helping to provide updates to the racquetball community during the tournament. With a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Mueller also brings experience in sports reporting and news writing for newspapers like the Pioneer Press in St. Paul as well as the Southwest Journal and the Downtown Journal in Minneapolis. Mueller has also worked in marketing and public relations for the St. Paul Saints professional baseball team, Gopher Athletics at the University of Minnesota and the 2015 Cowles Cup Champion Chicago Bandits professional softball team.