Kerri Walsh Jennings will have right shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and a torn capsule Thursday and hopes to return to beach volleyball competition in mid-March, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion and a 37-year-old mother of three, dislocated the shoulder twice in competition this season — May 27 and July 10. She will have surgery on her right shoulder for the fifth time in her career.
“They always say six months, but I’ve always been back in four, maybe four and a week,” Walsh Jennings said, according to the report. “That’s plenty of time — even if I didn’t expedite my rehab — to come back stronger than ever.”
Walsh Jennings missed at least one month of competition following each of her two shoulder dislocations this season.
She and Olympic silver medalist partner April Ross returned from the first one at the World Championships and were eliminated in the round of 16.
They were better after the second layoff, reaching the final of the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach Calif., last month, with Walsh Jennings serving underhand and swinging primarily with her left arm. They lost the final to Brazilians Larissa and Talita, who are looking like the Rio Olympic favorites.
Walsh Jennings said that last week’s Rio Open would be her final tournament of the season. She and Ross lost in the round of 16.
Walsh Jennings and Ross must play at least five tournaments before June 12 to be eligible to qualify for the Rio Olympics. The 2016 FIVB World Tour schedule has not been released, but the 2015 schedule had six tournaments from March to June 12.
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