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Return to Sports Program Gets Patient Back on Pitch

After two torn ACLs in four years, Christian Lombardi saw his share of pain and rehabilitation. Thanks to the Return to Sport Program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Christian is now as active as ever.

“After my second ACL tear, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to play soccer at a high level again, especially because typical physical therapy doesn’t prepare you for high levels of sports. That’s when my physical therapist suggested the Return to Sport Program.”

A high school athlete and fitness fanatic, Christian was determined to get back to where he was physically prior to his two ACL tears and to live a healthy lifestyle for a long time.

Mary Katherine McKee, known as MC, is the Sports Performance Supervisor at the Return to Sports Program. The program is open to any individual who has completed therapy for an ACL reconstruction or other lower extremity surgery. The expertly tailored training program prepares participants for return to an active lifestyle or sport.

“I improved beyond my injury thanks to the Return to Sport Program, and I’ll tell anyone with an ACL injury looking to get back to an active lifestyle to try it.”

“We started this program to bridge the gap between finished physical therapy and full participation in sports. All ages from middle schoolers to adults — at any stage post-rehabilitation — are welcome.”

Targeting both recreational and competitive athletes alike, the program at Akon General offers unlimited programs in small group settings.

“MC was great and really understands athletes”, said Christian. “After one month of training, my pain was almost completely gone. My trainers explained each exercise and focused on what I needed to return to my athletic goals.”

Now, with a cross-country move and a new career under his belt, Christian feels stronger than ever and has even referred a friend to the program. “I improved beyond my injury thanks to the Return to Sport Program, and I’ll tell anyone with an ACL injury looking to get back to an active lifestyle to try it.”

The Return to Sports Program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General offers 60-minute sessions three times per week at both the Green and Stow locations.

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