FEATURE: Hermleigh’s Benitez returns from two ACL surgeries

It’s tough enough to rehab from surgery for 6-9 months and return to competitive sports after suffering one torn ACL knee injury. Ryleigh Benitez of Hermleigh has done it twice within the last two years.

“I’ve never seen anybody come back from two torn ACLs to the same knee. After the second time, most people would call it quits, but Ryleigh is a tough kid,” said Duane Hopper, Hermleigh’s third-year girls’ basketball coach.

“She tore it the first time in the summer after her sophomore year (2018). She did it the second time in the spring of her junior year (2019) right after track season.”

Benitez, a 5-foot-7 senior who can play any position for the two-time defending Region II-1A champion Lady Cardinals, returned after her first torn ACL for the second half of the 2018-2019 basketball season. After the second ACL tear to her left knee last April, she was back for the start of preseason practices last October.

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