After a red shirt year for rehabilitation, senior middle linebacker for Pacific University’s football team, Jack Perez, has made a full recovery and is now playing at an all-conference level.

Leading the team in tackles, Perez has come a long way since fracturing his hand in two places during the beginning of last year’s season.

Perez said he thought very little of the injury when it occurred, but it quickly became apparent it was worse than he thought.

The surgery went smoothly with no issues or complications. However, it would be a long time before he was ready to return to the field.

Perez decided to red shirt, as there was no way he would be able to play again before the end of the season.

Perez said that the process for red shirting was surprisingly simple especially with the help of the athletic trainers as well as Associate Athletic Director Lauren Esbensen.

After the surgery, Perez was put in a brace and told to perform a series of different exercises on a regular basis in order to gain his strength back.

“It was frustrating,” Perez said. “It was a long road but I had a lot of help. The doctors were a lot of help and I did a lot of stuff on my own to try and speed it up.”

When Perez showed up for the first day of training this season, he felt a small amount of concern for his injury.

“First day of pads was a little bit freaky,” Perez said. “But after the first play, it was like riding a bike.”

Perez addressed the psychological effect the injury had, saying he no longer takes his time with the football team for granted.

He has learned to appreciate the time he spends on the field and with his teammates.

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