An Epidemic of Injuries Plagues College Athletes

An Epidemic of Injuries Plagues College Athletes 1

Mark Abramson for The Chronicle

John Davis, an athletic trainer at Montclair State U., wraps a player's shoulder. "They're coming with baggage," he says of today's athletes.

Just 20 years old, the softball player had already endured six knee surgeries when her right arm went numb after throwing to home. Doctors diagnosed a separated shoulder, and Samantha Puzey had yet another round of surgery. Now she spends 15 hours each week with an athletic trainer at the University of Nevada at Reno, struggling to strengthen that stiff shoulder. She still can't throw. And in cold weather, she feels a knifing pain in her arthritic knee.

For many athletes like Sam