Senior makes a comeback for final season


Megan Kless, Mayfield Yearbook

Manu Dhillon (third row, third from the left) celebrates with his teammates and fans after a home game.

Jashman Buttar, Guest Writer

Senior Manu Dhillon has made a full recovery to play soccer after suffering a torn shoulder last season.

Dhillon was injured in the last game of his junior season against Nordonia High School. Dhillon said, “I went for a slide tackle, and the other team had a big and bulky player who fell on top of me after I was on an awkward angle on the ground because of how I was tackled.

“My left shoulder was on the top, and my right shoulder was pinned against the ground and since the big player fell on top of my left shoulder, it put all the force on my right shoulder which dislocated my right shoulder,” he said.

The injury was a complete dislocation and eventually he was diagnosed with a torn labrum. Dhillon said, “The first feeling that struck me was a feeling of disappointment and regret since I kept thinking about that slide tackle and how I shouldn’t have gone for it.”

Despite all this, Dhillon was determined to try and play his senior year fully healthy. Dhillon said, “Despite my parents wanting me to quit, there was my brother, my cousins, and my friends who wanted me to keep playing because I didn’t want to be a quitter, and neither did they.

“Also, this is truly the last year that I can enjoy playing soccer at a competitive level, so I wanted to take the opportunity to play one last time, and that too with my best friends,” he said.

Dhillon said he knew that in order to recover faster, he had to work twice as hard. “When my physical therapist told me to do a set of 10 repetitions for a shoulder exercise, I instead did 2 sets of 20 repetitions, and when she told me to do 2 sets of 15 repetitions, I did 4 sets of 30 repetitions instead because all I wanted to do was to get back on the field to help my team,” said Dhillon.

The junior year injury wasn’t Dhillon’s first, as he’s suffered other injuries since freshman year and has been close to quitting soccer as a result. Dhillon said, “I did think of quitting after my right shoulder surgery because it did get in the way of school. These injuries made it very difficult for me to convince my parents to let me play the sport that I loved the most because they only wanted me to be safe and healthy.”

Manu’s older brother, Indy, was virtually there every step of the way towards his recovery. Indy said, “I know Manu can do anything he can put his mind to, therefore, I didn’t need to say much. I just told him to keep doing all the proper therapy and follow his doctor’s guidelines in order to recover fully.”

According to Indy, Dhillon has changed a lot as a person during this recovery process. Indy said, “His work ethic is amazing and has improved tremendously over the course of the last year. I think that as a result of his injuries, he has become more educated about general health and therefore he has become very dedicated to living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”