After Fracturing Ankle, Sandburg Women’s Basketball Sophomore Addison Eger Aims for ‘Sense of Closure’ on Court
stead, the third-year Carl Sandburg College women’s basketball player suffered what might have been a career-ending injury.
As the Chargers played at Bryant & Stratton on Nov. 12, Eger had put up 19 points in the first half. The 5-foot-9 guard thought she might threaten her career-high of 42 points in a game.
“I was feeling it,” said Eger, a two-time All-Region IV selection and an All-Arrowhead Conference pick last season. “I just was feeling like this is going to be my game.”
That changed on the first play of the second half. After a turnover, Eger ran back on defense and stepped in to try to take a charge. As she and the Bryant & Stratton player made contact on the ground, Eger’s foot was straight up in the air.
“When she fell on top of me, she basically sat on my ankle and crushed it and it went sideways,” said Eger, a graduate of Mendon Unity High School.
Eger left the game but didn’t think it was a serious injury. She had sprained her ankle the previous season and thought it was a similar injury to that. But after a week of still not being able to walk, she got X-rays and learned she had broken her ankle. Doctors told Eger surgery would give her the best chance of having a quick recovery and possibly returning this season. They put in two screws, and she had 10 stitches from the procedure.
First-year Chargers coach Kellen Fernetti said losing a player with Eger’s talent and experience for an extended time is a huge blow.
“She’s a 30-plus-minute player who guarded and competed on defense, and then offensively she was going to be a go-to player for us,” Fernetti said.
Being out of the lineup has taken some time for Eger to adjust to. On the day of her surgery, the Chargers played a game. Eger woke up from a nap and asked her dad what the score was. A few days later as she was home recuperating, she tried watching a Chargers game online but had a hard time knowing she wasn’t in control of what was happening on the court.
Luckily, she has someone close to her who had been through a similar situation and could relate. Eger’s stepmother Lori played professional basketball in Switzerland, Poland and Germany before being injured in a car accident that forced her to retire from the game she loved.
“She totally understands,” Eger said, “and having that person to connect to, especially being my mom, she knows more than anybody about how I feel because she sees how it was stripped away from her career just like how mine obviously could be.”
The next step in Eger’s recovery will be mid-January when she can begin putting weight back on her foot. If all goes well, there’s a chance she could return to the Chargers by the end of the season.
“We'd be ecstatic. We would love to have her back,” Fernetti said. “If she'd be able to come back and even contribute a little bit, just being in uniform again would be outstanding.”
This likely is Eger’s last season playing basketball, as she is set to graduate from Sandburg’s dental hygiene program this spring and start her career as a hygienist after that — “adult things,” she said. Being able to go out on her own terms instead of hobbling off with an injury would mean a lot to her.
“I really want to push to even play a couple minutes and be like, this is my last goodbye to what my life has been for the past several years,” Eger said. “Since I was little, I've always had a basketball in my hand, and I just feel like I would have that sense of closure.”