the return The story of future college baseball player Jack Giardino and his road to recovery from a torn UCL

no matter how much time and effort you put into something, unexpected events can ruin everything

Destined for college baseball greatness, Jack Giardino walked behind the plate to show off his “pop time” for various college coaches at the Head First Honor Roll Camp. On his second throw out of three, Giardino experienced a notable “pop” in his right elbow followed by a pain that he had never felt before. This excruciating pain was debilitating, but knowing that this was his time to impress the colleges coaches that were looking at him, Giardino tried to play the camp through. However, the pain was just too great and he was not able to perform even remotely up to his high standards. In an interview with The Charger, Giardino says that, “The most memorable moment (of the whole ordeal) was that night... I was helpless and I couldn’t do anything about it, I wanted to play for all these coaches but I just couldn’t.”

Giardino Had a torn ucl and required tommy john surgery

After he returned to Charlotte, he set up a meeting with Dr. Connor, the elbow specialist in the area, who identified that his worst fears had become a reality. Giardino had torn his UCL, a tendon is his elbow, and required Tommy John surgery, a procedure that takes a tendon out of his leg and uses it to replace the torn UCL. Even worse, this type of surgery yields a seven month recovery time. The only bright side; however, was that in three months he would be able to hit again, allowing him to be Providence Day's designated hitter for his senior year. Known for his fielding ability, this was not what Jack wanted out of his senior baseball campaign, but this was something he had to live with. Although he could live perfectly fine without getting the UCL surgery, he wouldn’t be able to play baseball ever again. This fact left him with a tough decision, get his surgery, missing the rest of his soccer season so that he could play baseball, or not get the surgery, finish his senior soccer season out, and not play baseball in college.

Giardino's elbow scar after the surgery

For him, the decision to have the surgery was an easy one. Giardino had an offer from Washington and Lee, and this was one that he just couldn’t say no to. Even though he felt like he could have gotten offers from teams higher up on his top five list, Giardino knows that he can’t look back on it now as he strives to prove that Washington and Lee’s choice to offer him a spot was the correct one. Located in Virginia, W&L is an elite academic school and boasts a solid division three baseball team, ultimately making the choice easy as Giardino says he, “wanted to go as a student first since I won’t be playing in the pros.”

Giardino swinging for the fences at a ball that "for sure hit the left field gap"

As Giardino continues to work to get back onto the baseball field, he understands the differences between the college and high school game, knowing he has to raise his level of play. However, Giardino feels that he will return as good as ever using his injury as a “chip on his shoulder” for him to show everyone that he belongs in this sport.

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