Mary Anne Wichman has been making some rather mature decisions in the last seven weeks, facing a situation that could bring out just the opposite in any of us.
Wichman, a junior at Washington Catholic, was defending her goal in an attempt to take a charge when she was struck by a driving Union-Dugger player trying to score in the opening quarter of a girls basketball game at the Bird Cage Dec. 3.
It was obvious she had injured her left ankle. A sprain appeared to be the culprit. When the ankle failed to swell, tape was applied with the hope she might be able to return in the second half.
That was not to be.
Proper procedures were taken with the hope she would be back in a short time. And while the ankle never swelled, those procedures failed to produce the anticipated results after a week.
What appeared to be a bad sprain also included damage to two of the three ligaments in the ankle. That has left the Washington Catholic junior on the sideline with the sectional draw coming this Sunday.
She is waiting -- she is hoping -- at the same time, she realizes that her basketball season for 2012-2013 is likely over even if she gets clearance to begin rehabilitation without the aid of walking boots or braces.
"It's the first real injury I've had at any level," Wichman said. "I was upset at first. I was more angry than upset at first, but emotionally too. There was a time when my physical therapist thought I might be able to get back sooner, but the pain in my ankle shifted and that sat everything back. I've been impatient at times in the last seven weeks.² And there are aspects of the season that simply can not be replaced.
"I have been upset at times not being able to be out there with the other girls and with my sister (Sarah Wichman) who is a senior," Wichman said. "I'm close with all the girls in the sports, but I wanted to be out there with her in her final year." Wichman is hoping to be able to do some light work on the ankle by next week. That is not certain, but is a possibility. The work would be straight line in nature, no cutting just yet.
That's where the maturity comes into the picture, She wants to play. She realizes she may not be able to play. But she definitely wants to play volleyball, soccer and basketball as a senior.
"Maybe I could (play in the sectional), but there's no way I can go back to where I was as a starter," Wichman said. "I won't be in shape. I haven't done anything conditioning wise in seven weeks. We want to make sure I'm fully healed and can't reinjure myself. I've talked with everyone, and we want to make sure that I'm ready before I play." At the same time, Wichman believes getting a different perspective from the sideline will help when that senior season rolls around.
"I've been able to watch our team, I've learned how to become a better point guard and seeing the floor," Wichman said. "It's been fun to work with the younger players and try to help with their development. I think it will help make me a better player."