Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.

College football player bounces back after unexpected basketball injury

When it comes to football, Charles Wesley has a long list of notable achievements. The Clinton Township native served as captain his senior year at Chippewa Valley High School, was named to the All-Macomb County First Team and was a key member of the 2018 state championship squad. His football achievements continued at Wayne State University where he was a starter playing guard in 2022 then played at the tackle and guard position in the 2023 season.

A fateful game of fun

Charles, who is majoring in exercise science and plans to graduate in the fall of 2024, feels fortunate that he has escaped major football injuries throughout his playing career but a quick game of pickup basketball in the winter of 2023 changed his luck.

“While I was playing pickup basketball with some friends and football teammates at the recreation center at Wayne State, I went up for a rebound and when I came down my left leg was in an awkward position and caused an injury,” said Charles.

Seeking solutions

Upon realizing the severity of his injury, Charles sought the expertise of Don Moran, who serves as athletic trainer at Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health to evaluate the situation.

After undergoing X-Rays and an MRI the following day, Charles consulted with Don and determined the next step was to meet with Bill Moutzouros, MD, Henry Ford Health orthopedic surgeon who specializes in ACL and sports injuries.

“I decided to seek care at Henry Ford because Dr. Moutzouros has a reputation as one of the best surgeons in the country when dealing with knee injuries,” noted Charles.

Dr. Moutzouros confirmed that Charles developed a lateral meniscus tear, a common knee injury that can occur when the knee twists as a result of a fall and prevented him from playing football.

“These types of tears can often give a patient the feeling of the knee getting stuck or caught. Due to this, it’s difficult for football players to get in position and react without pain,” explains Dr. Moutzouros. “Charles had a knee arthroscopy to correct this lateral meniscal tear. The small centrally based lateral meniscal tear was trimmed to allow for stability and to eliminate his catching and locking symptoms.”

Although the surgery and injury were unexpected, Charles explains he had a great experience with Dr. Moutzouros and the staff at Henry Ford Health in his recovery journey.

“I felt very safe before and after the surgery and was able to walk the same day of the surgery and did not experience pain,” says Charles. “The staff and nurses had great bedside manner and made me feel very comfortable. Dr. Moutzouros also helped me fully understand the surgery and the process of recovering.”

Charles had a few checkups following the surgery and received rehabilitation from Don who he credits with helping him to get back in shape quickly allowing him to partially participate in football that spring. Don noted that Charles is a diligent and self-motivating student-athlete who was patient and respected the rehabilitation process to let his body heal and strengthen to eventually work his way to perform on the football field.

“During his rehabilitation process, we would work 5-6 days a week, sometimes multiple sessions a day to get back at the pace he was in,” explains Don. “Charles showed great maturity and took the adversity head on, I believe he grew as an athlete and as a person during that time.”

Don says there are some good days and some bad days during a rehabilitative process, but Charles never wavered and persisted through it all.

“I’m very proud of the way he handled himself. All his hard work and commitment got him to that point.”

From injury to triumph after surgery

The hard work in rehabilitation following a successful surgery paid off for Charles. He was fully cleared to participate in all athletic activities six weeks after the procedure.

“I’m doing great and am able to continue to play football without any problems with my knee and my legs and feel stronger now than before the surgery.”

In the 2023 season, the following season after his surgery, Charles was named to the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team and selected as the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player.

Future plans include more football and a career in physical therapy

With surgery out of the way, Charles plans to pursue a career in football playing at the next level while also applying to physical therapy school.

“My future career plans include becoming a physical therapist for a sports team and helping athletes recover from injuries similar to how I was helped.”

Advice for others after undergoing meniscus tear injuries

Drawing from his own experience, Charles offers practical advice to those facing similar challenges.

“I would suggest going to rehabilitation as often as you can, not skipping any days and making the most out of it doing each exercise to the best of your ability, while communicating pain or difficulty to your physical therapist or athletic trainer,” says Charles. “I would also suggest taking your diet very seriously as it can help you recover faster if you are putting the proper foods and nutrients into your body.”

Charles’ journey serves as a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. Through determination, resilience, and unwavering support, he not only overcame injury, but emerged stronger and more determined than ever before.

Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.


Cookie Consent

We use cookies to improve your web experience. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. Read our Internet Privacy Statement to learn what information we collect and how we use it.

Accept All Cookies