After a devastating knee injury during a week eight game last year versus the Edmonton Rush, a whole myriad of words and thoughts ran through the young Minnesota Swarm captain’s head. Most were unsafe for young ears while others immediately started to focus on getting back to full health and helping his team.
That’s how unselfish Andrew Suitor is. There he was, sitting in the trainers room with a torn ACL and MCL, learning his fate. That he would be out the reset of the year, that he’d have to face a very common surgery among athletes, then have a long road to recovery, but the most prevalent thought running through his mind was when he could be back on the turf leading his team.
It wasn’t an easy road to recovery, but it was filled with support from his lacrosse brethren–a very tight inner circle of family–and a drive to be even better than he was before the injury. That’s just how Suits rolls. Always full speed ahead and never alone. This week on the OTCB Podcast we go one-on-one with one of the best two-way players in lacrosse and a very driven young man, Andrew Suitor.
“I’m sure there were times when my parents and sister were pretty fed up with me while I was recovering but they never stopped helping me focus on the end goal,” commented Suitor Monday afternoon after finishing up his day. The young captain of the Swarm has quite a lot of weight on his shoulders these days, not to mention his knee.
“I hate that brace,” he professes. As a player who relies on speed and agility to get up and down the floor, that brace–which is helping his surgically repair knee maintain its strength–while vital is obviously a bit of a nuisance. But other than a blown up knee, there isn’t much slowing down the Orangeville, Ontario native.
During his rehabilitation process Suitor truly had an army behind him and not just family and close friends. “There were a number of lacrosse guys that reached out to me after I got hurt and had my surgery that really helped me keep my focus and spirits up.” Suitor makes sure to mention the likes of Jordan Hall and Tracey Kelusky as two key guys that helped him along the road to recovery.
That road ended completely on December 28th when Suitor led his charges into battle with the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks. “I first knew I was ready when I was able to start running again but that first game, there were some nerves.” Those nerves were shared throughout the locker room as the young Swarmed dropped their season opener 8-6.
“If we’re going to gauge ourselves, these opening two games have really shown us what we need to work on,” says the captain days after his team fell to 0-2 on the season. “We’ve played the two teams that went to the Championships last year. It’s not that we’re too young, we have winners on this team and we need to start to show it.”
You can hear the sense of urgency in his voice but also relief to be back playing the game he loves. That game has allowed him to become a member of Team 22, which is run by Curt Styres and Paul Gait, who are showing some of the game’s best young players what it’s like to be treated like the best of the best.
But it’s the tightness of the lacrosse family that he enjoys the most, even if it is in the form of Nick Rose sending instant tweets the moment Rose’s Toronto Maple Leafs defeat Suitor’s Ottawa Senators. “Rosey is always quick to throw a chirp out there, so it’s nice to see the Leafs losing again.”
A proud member of the Northmen Alum, Suitor is challenged daily to be better than he was the day before and takes on the task of leading the Swarm with pride. To be back playing at the level Suitor does less than a year removed from injury is a true testament to the dedication and love for the game that he embodies.
Scheduling note- this week the Off the Crossebar Radio show returns to TEAM 1410 and www.teamradio.ca in Vancouver starting in it’s new time slot, Saturday at 11am PST- so please join us Saturday as we break down Friday night’s games and get you set for an exciting Saturday night.Teddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.
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