Barrett Jr on the mend Former Cornwall CollegeThursday, August 19, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Former Carifta Games gold medallist and Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) boys' champs gold medallist Warren Barrett Jr, who is recovering from a recent surgery on a ruptured tendon in his right wrist – his throwing arm, is not putting a timeline on his return to training or competition.
Barrett Jr, a former student of Cornwall College and son of former Reggae Boyz World Cup captain and current goalkeeper coach of the Reggae Boyz, who primarily throws the shot put, had a fairly successful first year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA.
He experienced “some pain” towards the end of his season, but it was only after he did a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the end of the season that the injury was discovered. The procedure was done on August 2 at an orthopaedic facility in Lynchburg.
“I had a ruptured tendon in my wrist which caused me not to be able to move my thumb and I also had severe discomfort,” Barrett Jr, whose best throw was 18.45m last season, told the Jamaica Observer West earlier this week.
Given that he has “always had some wrist issues”, Barrett Jr said he couldn't pinpoint when the injury might have taken place and could have been training and competing with it.
“I had no idea when I suffered this particular injury,” he stressed. “Ever since I started this sport I have had wrist issues almost every year.” He said the general treatment was “getting cortisone shots since I was at Cornwall [College] and even this year I got multiple shots and it did help the pain”.
While, he said, the injections somewhat eased the discomfort, Barrett told the Observer West that they did not help the healing process.
“Now, when I think about it, I think the shots masked the pain and did not facilitate healing of the tendon because it was in season and I had to train and compete and the pain was not that bad, and the medical staff and myself did not think about the MRI,” he explained.
It could be a while before Barrett Jr gets back to training and competing, and he says the indoor season that starts in January might be a bit too soon for him to resume.
“I should be out for about six weeks before I can start doing occupational therapy to work on dexterity and other small details, as you know the wrist is very intricate, and that will be before I start physical therapy,” he said, adding that no timeline has been set for the therapy.
“So we don't know yet when I will start training; so not sure if I will be ready for indoors in January, but I assume that outdoors in March/April will be a more realistic goal as I will have to ease my way back into lifting and throwing. It won't be anything of high intensity and in my event, really and truly, if it is not high intensity then it is of minimal benefit,” he argued.
He explained that aiming at the outdoor season would “give me a longer window to recover ...as I had none of that [training] this summer due to the surgery, and I have a lot of work to do, but I remain optimistic. If it is the will of the Creator, the Most High… definitely everything according to His will.”
Despite the setback, Barrett Jr, who qualified for the East Regionals in his first year and was named on the academic all-American team, said his will to bounce back and be better next year was strong, adding that his family support is solid. “This injury has not shaken my mindset even though it has set me back. If anything, it shows me that I have a very resilient character and I can credit my mother for that as she always says to me, 'WJ, whatever you do ensure that you do it to the best of your ability at all times.' So I credit her for me being this resilient as well as my father [Warren Barrett Sr] as a former sports icon himself, knowing he went through his injuries as well, he helped me through my down stages even though I was never doubting my abilities but being frequently injured can affect any athletes' mindset. However, everything that happens, happens for a reason and in due season...and so I am very optimistic,” he argued.
Barrett Jr, who was third in the shot put at the Atlantic Sun Conference and fourth in the discus throw, insisted that “I am a student athlete first and foremost, I have already acquired my [bachelor's] degree and now I start my master's [degree] and I will ensure that I make the most of the opportunity to be at Liberty and do as best as I possible can both in sports and in school.”