First-team All-American vaulter Kyndal Robarts, whose strong freshman campaign in 2008 had her primed to become an all-arounder this season for the No. 2-ranked University of Utah gymnastics team, will miss at least the next month to six weeks and could be out for the season.
Robarts subluxed her right shoulder in training a couple of weeks ago, and a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed a torn labrum that will almost surely require surgery after the season and could end her sophomore season before it gets started.
"That's a big loss for us because she was very big, especially on vault and floor but also on beam, and she was getting a nice bars set ready to go, too," said Ute coach Greg Marsden.
He said Robarts will try to rehab the injury enough to be able to do three events this season. "I think bars is definitely out for the year, and I'm pretty confident that she'll have surgery after the season," he said. "Now it's a matter of, 'Can we rehab her and get her back on two or three events?"'
Robarts was doing some light rehab exercises in Utah's Dumke training center Monday as her teammates were preparing for Friday's 2009 season opener when they play host to fourth-ranked UCLA in the Huntsman Center at 7 p.m.
Marsden said trainer Tom Iriye assumes it will take four to six weeks of rehab before it will be known if the shoulder can tolerate Robarts working any vault, beam or floor, so it may be that long before anyone knows if her season can continue.
Utah already lost Stephanie Neff, who would have been a junior this season, to early retirement on advice of a physician due to back problems that she had before enrolling at the U.
With Robarts out, the Utes have only 10 competitors for at least the first month of the season.
Marsden said Robarts was apparently injured while preparing to dismount bars during training. "It didn't really appear that anything was wrong, and she didn't really feel what happened, but after she dismounted she felt this real sharp pain in her shoulder," he said. "She doesn't even know exactly when it happened. It was just kind of a freak thing."