Senior Temple Men’s Soccer midfielder Santiago Majewski never suffered a serious injury before arriving at Temple in 2018. Yet during the past two seasons, Majewski has suffered significant tears to both of his ACLs, preventing him from playing the game he loves.
“I knew it right away, as soon as I planted my foot,” Majewski said. “I just heard a pop and it was the same feeling I had already, so I knew as soon as I went down that it was the same thing again.”
Despite the injury, in addition to a 2021 meniscus tear, Majewski has demonstrated his resilience, becoming a valued member of the locker room.
Temple (2-4-2, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) has been no stranger to injuries throughout the past few seasons. Redshirt-junior Sean Karani, a Preseason AAC All-Conference selection in 2021, tore his ACL last season and redshirt-junior Eoin Gawronski fractured his left foot on Sept. 11, 2021, against Villanova University.
The process of rehabbing from an ACL tear is long and rigorous, but Temple has dealt with the process frequently. Majewski and Karani suffered their tears around the same time in 2021 and followed similar recovery timetables, allowing them to undergo treatment and participate in workouts together.
“We both tore it at about the same time and we both got back on the field around the same time,” Karani said. “It’s unfortunate that he tore his again, he’s been through it.”
Between September 2021 through May 2022, Majewski was able to strengthen his quadricep muscle enough to continue training for this season. While the current rehab process is like that of his previous knee injury, a better understanding of the proper regiments has Majewski making faster improvements to his leg because he knows how to supplement his training.
“Some of the treatments are blood flow restriction and using a treadmill to get back into running,” Majewski said. “I’ve been doing a lot of weight distribution exercises and a lot of balance exercises to make me feel stable.”
Assistant coach Alex Shinsky, a former player at the University of Maryland, has helped Majewski the most because he knows firsthand how physically and mentally difficult it can be to remain off the field due to rehab.
“Part of the reason why I became a coach is for that reason,” Shinksy said. “To help these guys and share my kind of experiences with them both on and off the field.”
Majewski has rarely seen action for the Owls because of the upperclassmen ahead of him in the lineup during his early seasons and now the injuries, playing in a total of 14 games in what will be a five-year career at the conclusion of the 2022 season. However, the midfielder is still helping the team by providing a morale boost on the bench, motivating guys to train harder because they see how hard he is working in recovery.
“He’s still a major member of our team,” Shinsky said. “He’s here every day with us, supporting us. He’s still now the spiritual leader of our group.”
Through overcoming adversity, he has gained more respect, becoming one of the most influential guys in the locker room. Majewski is overcoming two bad injuries with a sense of enthusiasm, a quality that teammates can admire.
“He came back strong and positive,” Karani said.
He also delayed his graduation by one year to return to the field this season, further proving his dedication to the team.
“I wanted to play my last semester here,” Majewski said. “One more time, give me one more round.”
And while this plan is no longer a reality, Majewski is already working towards getting ready for his future.
Majewski wants to take the field again once he graduates, most likely trying to play professional soccer. While most would give up due to the disappointment of two ACL tears, Majewski is fueled by the challenge despite continuing his recovery process, he said.
“Of course, it’s not always how it pans out,” Majewski said. “It’s a little rough but just something to get through and move forward.”