Nicky Ryan will now be out of active competition for quite some time after suffering a knee injury during his last match that will certainly require surgery. It was just a matter of days ago that he was competing at the very first Road to ADCC event against Dante Leon and around halfway through the match the injury occurred. Remarkably, Ryan didn’t give in and worked from his back for the rest of the match to end up being awarded the victory by decision, thanks in part to his earlier work. Once the match was over he had to be helped off the stage by his coach, John Danaher, and it was clear that there was some sort of significant damage to his knee.
In the time since then, Nicky Ryan has undergone tests to get to the root of the problem and has discovered that the knee injury is an issue with his meniscus that is guaranteed to require surgery and a lengthy recovery. He made the original announcement in a post to his official Instagram account, and has since updated it with another once he was informed of what his options are:
“So I just got the results of my mri and was told that my meniscus has completely flipped around and it’s causing my knee to lock up. At this point I’m still unable to walk or extend my leg so it will definitely require surgery. I’m stuck between getting it repaired which is a 4-6 month recovery time or getting it taken taken out which is only a 4-6 week recovery time but almost guarantees that I get arthritis later down the line. 2 of my teammates haven gotten the repair done and both of them ended up hurting it again and eventually had to get it removed anyways. The doctor recommends that I get I repaired but so did the doctors of both of my teammates and the last I want is to waste 6 months of my life recovering from the repair surgery just to get it taken out anyways. I definitely have a lot to think about and will look to get a second opinion on it from another doctor.”
It’s an incredibly difficult choice for sure. At just 20 years old Ryan has already competed at the ADCC world championships twice, and only recently been awarded his BJJ black belt by John Danaher. It’s understandable that a recovery period of six months looks unappealing to say the least, but in many cases the repair of the meniscus does not lead to any re-injury and this may be better for the long-term health of his knee. In the end, it’s a decision that only he can make and as a 20 year-old elite athlete, it’s certainly not a decision anyone would take lightly.