With surgery planned, Spencer Lee is finished for the season in Iowa

Three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee of Iowa stops him for the remainder of the season to finally undergo knee surgery again.

The nation’s highest ranked wrestler at 125 pounds at the start of the season, Lee has torn both anterior cruciate ligaments since competing for the Hawkeyes. The wear and tear on his knees has become too much for the peerless Franklin Regional senior.

Lee could seek an NCAA medically-impaired waiver, which could allow him to return for the 2022-2023 season.

He tore his right ACL when he was a senior at Franklin Regional, but still competed in the sport before undergoing reconstructive surgery after the season. His recovery was successful as he jumped into Iowa’s starting lineup as a rookie and won his first NCAA title.

He reformed his right ACL at the 2019 NCAA Championships, but chose to forgo the surgery in order to compete in the Olympic Trials. He injured his other knee during the 2021 Big Ten Championships, but that knee didn’t respond to rehab like the other, causing some consternation for Lee, who started this season and started well.

“Apologies are for wimps,” was the popular phrase coined by Lee after winning five games in three days at the NCAA Championships in March. The four words did not result in T-shirts.

But the constant pain and monotony of daily electrical stimulation, ice cream treatments, and riding a stationary bike just got too taxing.

“It was my goal to compete this year, for this team and with my teammates that I care about so much,” Lee said in a social media statement. “But when I returned to competition it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to perform like I did the year before due to unstable knees and extreme pain during and after. the competition. As a result, coaches, medical staff, and family believe the best solution at this point is surgery. “

Lee was recently named Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week. He returned to the roster just before Christmas at the Collegiate Duals and started 3-0, with two wins with bonus points. He beat opponents 31-1, leading Iowa to a divisional championship, while extending the top-ranked Hawkeyes’ winning streak to 24.

He has won 38 consecutive games, overtaking his opponents, 463-42.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .



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