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Misdiagnosed injury kept player away from NWSL

Former Orlando Pride defender Morgan Reid left the league in 2020. (Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Orlando Pride defender Morgan Reid stayed away from the NWSL after the 2020 season as she struggled to find the source of her hip pain.

Now she wants her story to inspire other players to keep fighting for themselves.

“I finally decided to share my injury journey over the last two years, and why I stepped away from the NWSL,” Reid said in an Instagram post Tuesday. “My hope is that any athlete going through something similar will read my story and continue advocating for themselves.”

A fourth-round draft pick in 2018, Reid played for the Pride in 2019 but missed the 2020 season due to pain in her hip. She was waived after that season and decided to step away from professional soccer as she tried to get to the root of the injury, she wrote Tuesday on her personal website.

In 2020, the Pride ordered an ultrasound, an X-ray, an MRI and an MRI arthrogram in succession, according to Reid, but doctors did not see any reason her the sharp pain Reid was experiencing.

Physical therapy sessions, reevaluations and second, third, fourth and fifth opinions followed, but Reid’s pain continued and its source remained elusive.

“I accepted the state of my body as my new normal,” Reid wrote. “They couldn’t find anything definitively wrong with my hip, even though my physical capabilities were 20% of what they were before preseason 2020.

“My hopes of playing competitive soccer, tennis with my family, or even just living an active lifestyle, had dwindled. I couldn’t do any of these activities without severe pain.”

She moved to Wisconsin with her husband, NBA player Grayson Allen, in 2021, after he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Soon after, Allen encouraged her to see a specialist at the American Hip Institute in Chicago.

While Reid hesitated, caught in the frustration of previous failed treatments, she eventually agreed, and she is happy she did. With an MRI machine optimized for hip imaging, a hip surgeon found a labral tear that required surgery

“I broke down in tears, not because I was distraught about the injury, but because he proved that I hadn’t lost my mind,” Reid wrote. “He justified the immense pain I had been in for almost two years.”

Reid had the surgery two months ago, and while recovery could take up to nine months, she is already feeling better. While she does not know if professional soccer is in her future, she is ready to share her story.

“The moral of my detailed account: you are your best advocate, and you know your body best, especially as an athlete,” she wrote. “If something doesn’t feel right, there is most likely something wrong.”