Christian Contreras developed a strong passion for soccer at just four year’s old. His father was a semi-pro soccer player, so his love for the game was something that was in his blood. He often dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player.
By age twelve, Christian gained recognition from top-tier programs in the state. At fourteen, he was scouted to play for Philadelphia Union Academy. During his three years with the academy, he was called up to national team combines allowing him to play at the highest levels for his age.
In March 2016, Christian tore his left ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) that was further complicated by pulled hamstrings. These injuries set him back nearly 13 months before he could return to playing. The timing of these injuries couldn’t be worse seeing that these were critical months for college scouting.
Despite the setbacks, Christian returned to playing competitively his senior year and with great excitement, he committed to Temple University, where he had hopes of making a name for himself quickly.
Spring and summer training prior to his first semester at Temple was rigorous. On June 5th, during an early Summer League game, Christian was dribbling in the midfield when two players tackled him for the ball. He jumped up to avoid their kicks and when he landed awkwardly on his right leg. He quickly got up and walked himself off the field. While in great pain, he was really hoping it wasn’t anything serious. He thought it was only a minor injury.
Christian sought the guidance of Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Gerardo Goldberger, from AOSMI in Freehold, NJ. Dr. Goldberger brought in his colleague, Dr. Michael Greller, also a Sports Medicine specialist, who delivered the news that he had in fact torn his ACL once again.
Christian was devasted, but it didn’t take long for his despair to turn into optimism. Dr. Greller educated Christian on what caused his injury and how he was going to repair the ACL. The doctor gave him confidence that his procedure and recovery would go well and that he was likely to recover fully.
Post surgery, after five months of rehabilitation, Dr. Greller is very impressed with the way Christian is healing and he is expected to recover fully. His goal is to be cleared to play sometime early in the spring with the main focus of being at peak performance for the Fall season next semester.
Christian Contreras doing drills less than 4 weeks after ACL surgery.
“Dr. Greller instills confidence in me every time I see him and I believe that by following his recovery plan, I will be as good as new by Spring,” notes Christian.
Childhood dreams of becoming a professional soccer player haven’t been derailed by injury. In fact, dreams may be closer to reality for Christian thanks to proper medical care and his lifelong passion for the game!
By Jeffrey White