Lea Davison (Specialized Racing) has been conspicuously absent from both the US Cups and the World Cups so far in 2014. The American mountain biker is currently sidelined due to injury, but hopes to come back to racing in time for major races later this summer.
"I had hip surgery on January 24 that I'm still recovering from," said Davison to Cyclingnews. "I'm aiming to be back for the North American World Cups and the Catamount Classic Pro XCT."
Davison has surgery to fix a torn labrum in her hip joint. "This is exactly the same injury and surgery I had in 2010 except it's on my right side instead of my left."
She came back from her first hip injury and surgery to make the 2012 Olympic team and to win the 2013 US cross country national championships, and she believes she can do it again.
"My right hip started hurting with a familiar stabbing pain right around Christmas. I rushed home back to the Vermont Orthopedic Clinic to try and diagnosis what was going on. My doctor thought I had irritated the hip and had an inflamed bursae. I took a course of heavy anti-inflammatories to hopefully solve the problem, and all I could do was wait and see. Being in limbo and not knowing is the hardest. I do way better with a plan to follow. I've never wished so much for bursitis in my entire life."
An MRI later revealed torn cartilage in her hip, and she was scheduled for surgery the next week. She currently spends most of her days in rehab working on a better range of motion, reducing swelling, getting stronger, and firing up the muscles.
"Moving through this process happily takes a huge expectation and goal shift," she said. "I had to transition from doing big strength moves envisioning World Cup podiums to swinging my leg back and forth six inches in 4D bands to promote range of motion. I transitioned from sprinting uphill dripping in sweat to spending an hour progressing to walking normally. I move from clicking into my pedals to clicking around on crutches."
Davison said her experience last time is helping her with her rehab and comeback this time around and with keeping her sense of humor going.
"I know more of what to expect, and I have the best support crew assembled around me. My family and friends have shown support in some many ways, especially in the form of chocolate."
"If I gained anything from the tragedy this fall, it was the perspective to say an injury like this is just a bump in the road. I'll come back even more happy and grateful to be riding my bike. Every setback is a chance for a comeback, and I'm working hard to comeback strong from this one."