Reign FC forward Shea Groom suffered a broken rib in a midair collision with Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd in the 14th minute of the club’s 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC on August 18. After falling to the ground in obvious pain, Groom was immediately examined by Reign FC’s trainer and Sky Blue FC’s team doctor, which led to Groom being stretchered off the pitch and transported via ambulance to University Hospital in Newark, where scans confirmed Groom had a displaced rib fracture.
“I knew my rib was broken before I even hit the ground. I broke a rib a couple of years ago when I played for FCKC and this felt much worse,” Groom recalled. “I think that was the first time in my career that I was absolutely positive I was hurt.”
Groom was released from the hospital on Wednesday and will remain in New Jersey until Friday after being cleared to travel back to Tacoma by Reign FC’s medical staff.
“She will need to rest for the next four weeks,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Then she will take a few weeks to get back to fitness. We are hoping to have her back for the last few matches of the season”
Right now Groom is focused on pain management and returning to normal mobility.
“It was really challenging for the first 48 hours. We were having a hard time getting the pain under control early on, but after those two days, things have been good,” Groom said. “I'm eating well again and I'm surprisingly more mobile than most would think. I'm not sure you could even tell that I have a broken rib if you saw me walking down the street.”
Nick Leman, Reign FC director of high performance, will manage her recovery process. He is confident that Groom’s attitude will help her and get her to where she needs to be.
“The recovery process for Shea will involve rest to help her rib heal and then a gradual buildup of her training,” Leman said. “She will need to stay patient and positive in the process. She is a tough character and will be able to overcome this setback.”