Finding His Way Back to the Court

In 8th grade, this local teen found out it would take 2 years to have a surgery that would bring basketball back into his life, now as a sophomore in high school, Mathieu Salois has learned that patience is not always easy. 


At just 6 years old, Mathieu joined his first basketball team, and for around the next decade, he grew a true love for the game. Now, as a sophomore at St. Raphael Academy, Mathieu is on his second year stuck on the sidelines due to a torn ACL, but is so excited to work his way back on the court for the next season.  


For most of his life, Mathieu loved to spend his free time with a ball in his hands. But two years ago, when Mathieu was in eighth grade, he was forced off the court when he tore his ACL during a game. Unfortunately, when Mathieu stopped short, he pulled something in his leg, “It was so painful I had to crawl off the court and then I found out it was because I tore my ACL” he shared. 


Although it was clear Mathieu would need surgery, his doctor recommended waiting a few years because his growth plate needed to close first. And Mathieu never could have imagined how much he would miss the game over the next few years. 


For the first few months after the injury, Mathieu began physical therapy to get his knee comfortable enough to walk on and use for small tasks, but he couldn’t participate in the only thing he wanted to do.


Over the next 2 years, Mathieu had to sit out of many actives, “it was rough not being able to do things, but at least I have my video games” he laughed. During his basketball hiatus, Mathieu spent many nights playing Call of Duty and Fortnite, but he also tried to stay active by going for bike rides when the weather was nice and occasionally sneaking in some hoops against doctors' orders. 


This December, after a long-anticipated wait, Mathieu finally had his surgery, and a week later, he began his physical therapy treatments with Bob Doherty at the Pawtucket clinic. “Physical therapy is a pain, but at least the people are great” smiled Mathieu.  


After months of hard work, Mathieu is ready to get back to the court so he can have an after-school activity again and something fun to do on the weekends. But he will have a lot of work to put in if he wants to make his high school team next year.  “Since I've been out for so long, I’ve really fallen behind and have a lot of catching up to do” Mathieu expressed. Luckily, Mathieu’s friend offered to spend the summer getting him up to speed and ready to join the team next season.  


Mathieu wants to spend the next few months building up his strength and working on pivoting confidently so he can go back to playing like he used to. “Even though I don’t plan on playing professionally I will defiantly keep up with it for fun” he shared.  


For now, Mathieu wants to get back to the active lifestyle he had 2 years ago, and just enjoy playing the game for his last few years of high school until he's able to follow his real dream of becoming a pilot for the air force. 

- Learn more about Bob Doherty, PTA


Click here to learn more about what physical therapy is and what it can do to help you. If you are still not sure if physical therapy is what you need request an appointment to speak with a physical therapist about your concerns.

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