Orion grad Williams set to have knee surgeries

Posted Online: Jan. 06, 2013, 10:14 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
An inevitable result finally found Tanner Williams.

The way he sees it, that's not a bad thing.

Lingering knee pain that started during Williams' freshman year at Orion High School reached a breaking point in the last few months. The aching knees could not handle the rigors playing basketball at Loyola presented, forcing Williams to opt for season-ending knee surgery.

"I couldn't play on them," Williams said Friday afternoon. "I knew I needed surgery eventually. I decided to get it over with."

Diagnosed with severe tendinitis in both knees, Williams will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Chicago to repair the right one. A second surgery to correct the left knee will take place in four to six weeks.

Recovery from both surgeries should take six months.

"They said I should be back fine," Williams said.

The operations sidetrack what was a promising start to his Loyola career. In three games, Williams averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10 minutes as a true freshman.

During those three games, though, the persistent discomfort from the tendinitis made it obvious he could not continue his career without surgery. Williams' last game was Nov. 17 at South Florida.

X-rays and a magnetic resonance image confirmed the tendinitis that grew worse by the day.

"I'd loved to be out there playing right now, but I know this will help me in the future," said Williams, who will have four years of eligibility remaining after receiving a medical redshirt. "I can still jump, but I'd be sore. I couldn't play a full college game."

Williams figured surgery would happen at some point, so he chose to have it at the start of his collegiate career.

He said doctors told him that they will make an incision on the outside tendon of his knee to remove scar tissue and other issues. The middle tendon will be removed and doctors will use needles to promote blood flow in the knee.

In preparing for surgery, Williams spent the last six weeks working on upper-body strength while attending Loyola practices and games. Williams said Loyola coach Porter Moser "still has faith in me" during this process and expects him to still make an impact the next four years.

Until that happens, Williams must endure two surgeries he was told has a 92 percent success rate and a lengthy rehab process.Once that process is over, he will rejoin a team that has seven freshman and a 10-4 record as of today.

Even better news is the next time Williams takes the court, he should have two healthy knees.

"I couldn't tell you how (I'll play)," Williams said, "but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do."


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1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)