Latrell Harris Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery
Oakville, ON - The NLL's reigning Defensive Player of the Year won't get a chance to go back-to-back after tearing his ACL in a Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) game with Archers LC on August 25, a loss to Waterdogs LC who will be the Archers' opponents in the PLL final this Sunday in Philadelphia, PA.
Harris played the remainder of the game, but soon after his return home from Salt Lake City, UT, he was examined by the Rock's medical team, and they feared the worst. While in Boston, MA for the PLL Awards the following weekend at which he won the Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder (SSDM) of the Year Award, Harris underwent an MRI that confirmed the Rock medical team's initial evaluation, a torn ACL along with some damage to his Lateral Meniscus and MCL in his left knee.
"We were on a ride after we had taken a shot, me and teammate went to trap one of their guys, and I collided with their player," Harris recalls. "The momentum took me on a different route and as I planted, that's when I heard a noise I didn't recognize. I stopped, looked down, saw it looked OK and noticed the ball was getting swung to the player I was checking, and I continued on and finished the shift. I went back to our bench and things didn't feel the greatest, but I played the rest of the game as it was a close one, and not one I was going to sit by and watch."
The 25-year-old NLL superstar underwent successful knee surgery in Vail, CO on September 7 and is expected to miss the entire 2023-24 Toronto Rock regular season. After staying in Colorado for a few days to recover from the surgery, he traveled home to Ontario to begin the 8-9-month road to recovery. Harris is already participating in physiotherapy sessions 7 days a week.
As a veteran of six NLL seasons, Harris has emerged as not only an elite defender and transition threat, but he's also become a leader in the Rock locker room. His presence around the team is something the team's coaching staff and management has plans for.
"There's no way to sugar coat it, it sucks. You can't lose the defensive player of the year and just find someone to replace him. It's a huge blow to our team," said Rock Owner, President, and GM Jamie Dawick.
"With the opening of the new Toronto Rock Sports Medicine and Wellness Centre, he's still going to be around the TRAC every day as he rehabs the injury. While he can't make his usual contributions on the floor, he'll be as involved as ever. He's one of the leaders on this team, and that starts with his character and work ethic, Latrell works as hard as anyone. He's a favourite teammate of almost everyone in the room and that just further shows the impact he's had on everyone and will continue to have."
The Toronto Rock will open training camp at the end of October with three exhibition games slated for November at the TRAC in Oakville, ON.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from September 22, 2023
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