It’s a record that no athlete really wants to have, but a Mansfield Legacy softball player may have the longest. It’s a medical record that goes on and on.
Angelica Luckert is back on the field this season for the Lady Broncos, getting just a few games under her belt last year after returning from a litany of various injuries.
Luckert said it all started in seventh grade when she was riding a dirt bike and accidentally took a spill which broke her wrist and knee cap and tore some cartilage.
In her freshman year, early in the season, she injured her shoulder.
She did rehab and physical therapy and came back for her sophomore season, but just a few games into the schedule, while diving back to third base, she dislocated the same shoulder.
When the second shoulder injury happened, Luckert said she decided to go ahead with surgery to repair the loose joint.
“They told me it would take eight months of therapy after surgery,” Luckert said.
A few months into therapy came the last day of school. Luckert was riding with a friend to pick up a graduation card for another friend.
“I had just taken off the ice bag, and then we were in a car accident,” she said.
The wreck put Luckert in the hospital’s ICU and then on to a rehab facility for a month. Luckert required two major surgeries — removing her spleen and placing three screws in her pelvis — and was then relegated to a wheelchair for another three months.
Luckert said she pleaded with her doctor to forgo a walker and jumped right to a pair of crutches. More physical therapy for both her hip and shoulder ensued.
When she finally got her medical clearance, Luckert met up with her teammates at a local Cici’s and exclaimed to everyone, “I’m cleared!”
By now, it was late in her junior year and she took the remainder of the season to get a head start on conditioning and fine-tuning her softball skills for her senior year.
The center fielder is nothing but appreciative of the support of her teammates and coaching staff.
In fact, Luckert recalls just prior to the car accident, head coach Amie Prater told her, “You can call me anytime you need me.”
“She was there for me that day. I called her from the ambulance,” Luckert said.
Luckert said she’s back in shape and having a solid year for Legacy.
“It took me a while. It was hard last year that I couldn’t fully be a part of things,” she said. “But I was there for every game and into the playoffs.
“Now that I’m getting to play and practice, I’m not afraid of hurting anything.”
The toughest part of re-entering the game is the mental aspect, though, she noted. “I was discouraged for such a long time.”
Being in center field, Luckert said she’s still able to move to the ball well, even with the three screws in her hip.
As a slap hitter, she’s relearned the technique and is back to her old form.
She definitely doesn’t take being able to play the game for granted.
“Without a doubt, I appreciate this year,” she said. “I love my team and love my coach. I truly mean it. They were there for me, no questions asked, and this has made me appreciate not just the game more but my teammates, too.
“And I’m loving every second of it,” Luckert said.