Win Big:A Bad Boy Sports Romance(10)

By: Bella Love-Wins


“We’ll wait for the medical staff to confirm, but it sure sounds like a strained or torn groin tendon,” Coach Jones said calmly.

Ya think?

That’s what I was dying to ask, along with what he thought was his first clue, with my hands refusing to move from my junk. At the moment, he was helping me get back to one of the treatment tables in the athletic training center. Mouthing off at my coach was not a good idea at a time like this. They helped me onto a table, and I did everything I could not to curl up in a miserable ball. The graduate assistant immediately put ice packs high up at the top of my legs, avoiding my crotch. He explained that he had gotten in touch with the onsite X-ray staff, who would help confirm the diagnosis with the sports physician. Nodding, I breathed deeply and reminded myself to stay calm. Freaking out only made it worse.

“Were any of the medical observers around when you were hurt, buddy?” the coach asked.

“Just me,” Jeff answered. “I was at the edge of the field, but was monitoring one of the injured players doing a post-therapy set.”

“Shit. Where are the two others we’re supposed to have on hand?”

“Not everyone’s back from Christmas vacations. We’re short-staffed until Tuesday. I can get Andy over here, but he’s covering for one of the trainers on the women’s basketball team.”

“All right. So how did this happen, Evan? Walk us through the play.”

“It was my fault,” Slade announced, running a hand through his hair after he used the towel now around his neck to wipe the sweat from his brow. He looked guilty as hell, but it wasn’t his fault. “I threw too soon. I should have read your position better. I’m sorry, man.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong.” I spoke through gritted teeth, panting for breath. “It wasn’t your fault. I could have let it go.”

Take it easy. Breathe slowly.

The faster I breathed, and the more I moved around, the worse it hurt. I couldn’t stop myself from writhing in pain.

“Don’t beat yourselves up over it…either of you. Pushing yourselves past your limits is part and parcel with playing pro. We’ll get through this.”

“In time for the combine? I ain’t got time to be injured right now.”

Coach squeezed my shoulder. “That’s close to two months away, son. Let’s hear what the medical team has to say after they run some tests.”

“Thanks, boss.” His pep talk didn’t do much for the pain. At first, all I could do was close my eyes and hope the ice packs would work their magic soon. Then I realized, this was shitty timing. Pain or not, I had to recover from this, and fast.

“The sports doc should have been here already. I’ll make a few phone calls so we can get this checked out fast.”

“It don’t hurt so bad,” I told him through clenched teeth, groaning through the stinging ache and disappointment.

“I hope it’s not a grade three strain or a full tear. If it’s that serious, you will need surgery.”

No way.

No fucking way.

It just couldn’t be so bad that I’d need surgery. It could take months to recover from something like that. Only when he left the room and I heard the door shut behind him did I look over at Slade again. He was scared as hell.

“I should have been watching your pace, man,” he muttered.

“I told you. It’s not your fault.”

“I guess the upside is you’ve been good all through the season, and played like a boss for SECs and the bowl game. The coach is right, you know? We’ve got under two months until the combine. At least it didn’t happen the week before, right?”

“Sure, if you put it like that.” I closed my eyes again, pressing my fist to my forehead. To think that here I was busting my ass for the combine, telling myself I had to work harder to be ready. “I may have just fucked myself with this injury. Wouldn’t that just be perfect.”

“Don’t go talking like that until we know what we’re dealing with. We have the best athletic team in the SEC and the NCAA right here on campus. They’ll fix you up good as new.” He meant well, but his eyes didn’t back up the encouraging message. He was just as afraid as I was, and that caused me to look away.

The coach returned to the room as Jeff was removing the ice packs. “Dr. Burton is on his way to see you, and he’s already got the technologist ready for you over at the X-ray room. You stay put and keep those ice packs on and off the area every fifteen to twenty minutes. And don’t move.”

“I don’t have anywhere else to be,” I said, grim and dejected as fuck. I know I was being pessimistic, but I saw my dreams slipping away. No combine, no pro day, no draft, no contract. Nothing. All this work for nothing.

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