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Pro skier Johnny Collinson just can’t catch a break. The North Face and Red Bull athlete who finally returned to snow this season after back-to-back ACL injuries sustained in 2018 and 2019 shared via Instagram that he blew out his left knee in a serious skiing crash in California two weeks ago.
“The initial impact blew up my left knee (all other ops have been on right knee) and then I kept tomahawking a good ways down the hill, feeling my lower leg flopping back and forth. I was trying to hold it as I fell but was just holding my femur and feeling the rest just flop. Ended up blowing ACL, PCL, MCL, patellar tendon, and lateral meniscus, plus separating some ribs for good measure,” he posted.
Collinson hasn’t yet shared details of how he crashed. He did participate in the 2021 Red Bull Raid held at Squaw Valley on April 2, and in the photos he posted to his Instagram he appears to be wearing his Red Bull Raid starting bib while being carted away by Squaw Valley ski patrol.
Collinson now has another grueling recovery and rehab period ahead of him, even more so this time around because his injuries are more extensive than previous ones. Having torn five major knee ligaments and tendons in this crash, Collinson will have to undergo multiple surgeries to repair the damage.
Related: Skiing and the risk of ACL injuries
“Just had my first surgery on Monday, where they fixed the MCL, patellar tendon and lateral meniscus—so now we keep that immobilized for six weeks to let those pieces heal before making a move towards a second surgery to repair the ACL and PCL,” Collinson wrote in his Instagram post.
These injuries come as a major blow to Collinson, who spent the past two years dedicating himself to an insane rehab and strength regimen in hopes of bulletproofing his body against future injuries. While most athletes struggle with the mental aspects of major injuries, Collinson has a knack for staying positive and only focusing on his path forward.
“This is an important step with injury for me—dealing with sorrows or fears right up front, and then moving forward. For me I have a hard time feeling sorry for myself, or being too sad about these injuries because I feel pretty damn lucky to live the life I do … Of course I don’t want to get hurt, and am pretty bummed about being injured again, but to be able to live the life I do, and have these accidents occur doing shit I love, is lucky.”