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Bemidji HS volleyball: Knee injury may sideline Hirt

Volleyball practice officially opens Monday but a key member of the team will be missing when the Lumberjacks begin their drills.

Senior Kayla Hirt injured her knee in late July while playing AAU basketball and the preliminary diagnosis is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Hirt, a senior, will likely miss the volleyball season and, if surgery is done, she could be sidelined for up to a year.

"At this point we don't know how serious the tear is," said BHS head volleyball coach Teresa Colligan. "She had an MRI done and last week she brought it to the specialists at the University of Minnesota."

Because of the swelling the doctors were not able to diagnose the full extent of the tear. It is possible that the tear is less than 50 percent and if that is the case rest and rehabilitation may be prescribed.

If the tear is more than 50 percent, however, surgery is the customary treatment.

Hirt will learn the severity of the damage when she returns to the specialists during the first week of September.

"Right now it's a waiting game," Colligan said. "We won't know anything until the swelling goes down.

"My gut feeling is that Kayla will be gone all of the volleyball season. But I hope I'm wrong."

Hirt is hoping to play at least the latter portion of the volleyball season and be available for the entire basketball campaign. Right now, however, all she can do is wait.

"This is harder on Kayla than anybody else because she is such an athlete," Colligan said. "If she is able to come on board later in the year it would give the other girls a huge boost.

"Sometimes when you have someone that good the rest of the team may rely on her too much. But now the other girls will have the opportunity to play and improve and when Kayla does come back we will be a better overall team," Colligan added.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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