Rapid Rehabilitation

Senior overcomes 2 knee injuries to return to varsity sports


Kyle Elmendorf, Staff Writer

When Dawson Krug qualified for State in javelin in 2016, he said it was because of a miracle throw. He said, however, the miracle extends beyond the one throw.

About six months earlier, his entire throwing season was in jeopardy when he suffered a horrific knee injury during a football game. After his surgery, two weeks later, he was told he would be out six to nine months.

“I injured myself in my first varsity football start,” Krug said. “It was [the] second play of the game, and somebody went into the side of my knee, and I tore my ACL, meniscus and MCL.”

Krug said when he suffered his injury he instantly knew the severity of what had happened to him.

“I heard a ton of popping in my knee,” Krug said. “I knew right then and there it was bad. I couldn’t put any weight on it. I tried to jump off the field, and I just fell.”

Krug said he was initially told by doctors and coaches his recovery would be prolonged, and his javelin season would not be worth returning to.

However, Krug said his desire to return to competition was the main reason why he was able to compete so soon, after only four months.

“At first, I wasn’t making much progress,” Krug said. “I was ready so early because I just decided to start doing whatever I wanted. I started just dealing with it.”

Krug said he tried to speed up his recovery process as much as he could.

“I toughed it out,” Krug said. “I really pushed the doctor to clear me early and let me get my knee brace. I just really wanted to get back to throwing javelin.”

Krug said even though he was able to use his knee like normal, the pain persisted.

“Anytime I ran on any kind of curve, I could feel it,” Krug said. “If I ran for more than five minutes, I could feel it. I kept my mouth shut because I really wanted to get back.”

When Krug first returned to javelin he said he was throwing very poorly; he barely made varsity. But as his knee recovered, he kept improving. Two weeks before Regionals, Krug was throwing 135 feet, 10 feet short of qualifying for State.

“At EKL, I kind of had a miracle throw and threw 142 [feet],” Krug said. “The week after that, I just wanted it so bad I threw 146 [feet] out of nowhere, which was just enough to go to State. I was the last person to qualify.”

Krug played football again in 2016 and was named second-team All-EKL as a defensive lineman. Krug said this javelin season, his knee feels good despite another partial tear to his meniscus in February. His farthest throw this javelin season is 155 feet.

“This winter, I worked out with [senior] Matthew Morris every day,” Krug said. “I would go up every other day and throw with no coaches or anything. It felt perfect. I was throwing really well.”

Krug said throughout his knee recovery process he’s learned a lot about himself.

“I have more confidence in myself now,” Krug said. “It proved to myself I could do anything, and I can recover from anything.”