Dylan Carew intended to wrestle through his freshman season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament when he injured his left knee six weeks ago.
Those plans changed last week when the Iowa 149-pounder tore the ACL and damaged the MCL in his right knee as well.
Carew said he’ll likely undergo surgery this week on both knees and will miss the remainder of the season, his first as a starter for the Hawkeyes.
“Basically, what doctors are saying and a couple of the people I’ve been listening to and taking their advice, they’re saying it’s going to be pretty hard, near impossible to wrestle with both injuries at the same time,” Carew said. “I knew I could wrestle with one. I had done it before, and I was going to try to do it. I was doing it and I was doing fine with it. … I can compensate for one leg, but as soon as I start trying to compensate for both at the same time, it’s only a matter of time, really, until something bad happens again.”
Carew wrestled through his senior season at West High with an ACL tear and won his second state title. He was 2-0 this season for the Hawkeyes.
“My senior year, I wrestled six months with a torn ACL, but it’s a little different stage now,” Carew said. “There’s a big difference between high school and college. In high school, you’re wrestling a lot of boys. In college, every time you wrestle, you’re wrestling a man.”
Sophomore Jeret Chiri took Carew’s place in the lineup Friday night and posted a pair of victories, pinning Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Dean Pavlou and defeating Cornell College’s Jacob Schwebke 9-4.
Carew said the typical recovery time for an ACL repair is six to eight months. The speedy end of that timetable would put him back on the mat by June. He said doctors don’t know yet if he’ll need repair work on his MCL or if it will heal in time.
“Everyone around me and everyone I’m close with knew how much I wanted to wrestle this year and how much it means to me,” he said. “The only upside, I guess, is it didn’t happen three-quarters of the way through the year where I couldn’t apply for any sort of medical redshirt when I’m done.”