The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 19, 2009

WVU’s House fights back from injury

Mountaineers visit No. 3 Ohio State tonight

MORGANTOWN — The biggest enemy anyone has coming back from an injury is the enemy within.

The doctors perform their magic to put the broken bones or ligaments or tendons back in place. The rehabilitation specialists perform their magic in strengthening the muscles around the affected area, getting back both its strength and flexibility.

But it is the injured athlete who must take the last hurdle in stride, overcoming the pain and the fear and the mental demons before you truly are back.

Vanessa House is back.

The Mountaineers play at No. 3 Ohio State tonight in the third round of the Preseason WNIT because House, who suffered a torn ACL in her left knee in the seventh game last season, came back and played as if she’d never been away as WVU edged Marist, 55-50, at the Coliseum on Monday.

She remembers the moment last year, having come to Morgantown as a transfer from Fresno City College, when the injury occurred.

“When I was coming down for the rebound, I got pushed by somebody else,” she said.

The knee got twisted awkwardly and she heard the “pop” that comes along with the tearing of a ligament. They say you never hear the bullet that gets you, but you seem to always hear the “pop” of a knee injury.

“I was kind of hoping it wasn’t that bad,” she said. “Then the MRI told us it was torn.”

No athlete wants to hear that. They know their season is over and their future is filled with deep, dark clouds.

When asked her first thought when she learned of the injury, House replied:

“Depression.”

Thousands of thoughts race through the mind at that moment, none of them good.

“Now I can’t play anymore,” she thought to herself.

But House was determined to return. Coach Mike Carey had brought in a star-studded recruiting class and a number of other injured players were ready to rejoin the team. She wasn’t going to miss this chance.

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