Brubaker undergoes surgery to repair injury

Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker won their second U.S. title in January.
Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker won their second U.S. title in January. (Michelle Harvath)


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(04/16/2009) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Rockne Brubaker, the reigning two-time U.S. pairs champion with partner Keauna McLaughlin, underwent surgery April 3 at Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colo., for two sports hernias, injuries that prevented the team from being considered to compete at the first-ever ISU World Team Trophy, April 16-19 in Tokyo, Japan.

"We wanted to have the surgery right after worlds so I could heal since next season is so important," Brubaker said. "We would have liked to have gone [to the World Team Trophy], but I would have rather gotten this out of the way and been prepared for next season."

Brubaker originally noticed the injury, which involves tears in the muscles of the lower abdomen that cause severe pain in the lower abdomen or groin, in the fall of 2008.

"Sometimes there were days I had to tone it down in training or couldn't do as much because of it, but it didn't affect my competition," he said.

Brubaker and McLaughlin won the silver medal at 2008 Skate America and the bronze at 2008 Skate Canada, and they captured their second consecutive U.S. championship in January.

"The injury was not severe but bothersome to Rockne's performance," said Dr. John Reasoner, the medical director of performance services at the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., who treated Brubaker throughout his injury.

"He had the ability to work though it during competitions, which is pretty amazing because it can be a very annoying and debilitating injury for individuals who perform repeated lifting. He should recover and return to his high levels of performance without any complications."

Recovery time for Brubaker's surgery is four to six weeks, and he expects to begin training again around May 1.