Regional tournaments are underway in high school soccer and no player is more excited to be involved in the action than Belvidere North junior Erin McKinney is.
McKinney is the starting goalie for the Blue Thunder. She was in goal for Wednesday’s regional semifinal game against Marengo. It was the first time in a month that she had taken the field for a game. That’s because last month in a game she was injured when she was accidently kneed in the side by an opposing player.
“I went down. I lost my breath and I felt something tense up in my stomach,” says McKinney.
“There was a whole congregation in front of the goal and then I saw her go down which really didn’t concern me then. What concerned me was she wasn’t getting back up,” says McKinney’s mother Lara.
McKinney immediately was taken to the emergency room at SwedishAmerican Hospital.
A CT scan showed McKinney had a lacerated liver and bleeding in her kidney.
“Her injuries were moderate. They were significant. They were potentially serious. The potential was there for significant bleeding,” says Dr. Jim Cole a trauma surgeon and the Trauma Director at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford.
McKinney’s first thought when she was told of her injuries was…”How fast can I come back to soccer.”
Fortunately surgery wasn’t needed, just a couple days of bed rest.
“In her case time is what she needed. Time and rest,” says Dr. Cole.
Still going to the hospital and getting medical attention was the smart move.
“If we wouldn’t have done it maybe she would have tried to play again and she would have gotten injured even worse,” says Lara McKinney.
After a month of rest and recovery McKinney is back to playing the game she loves. There were no concerns about letting her play in the regional game against Marengo Wednesday.
“She’s a young woman who’s got excellent healing potential,” says Cole. “She’s healed.”
So how excited was McKinney about getting back on the field?
“I’m really excited!”
This isn’t the first medical issue McKinney has faced. Two years ago she tore an ACL in her knee.
McKinney praises Dr. Cole and the Trauma team at SwedishAmerican for their work with her. It so happens that May is National Trauma Awareness month. McKinney still has another full year to go at Belvidere North, but she has already committed to play in college at the University of Akron.
Belvidere North defeated Marengo 2-0 in that regional matchup.