Australia’s top-ranked amateur and world number 15, Ryan McCarthy, is out of the game for the interim period following a surfing accident which resulted in the 21-year-old dislocating his left shoulder.

Ryan McCarthy (photo by Anthony Powter)

McCarthy was swimming in the surf at Redhead Beach on the Saturday of the Lake Macquarie Amateur when, without warning, his left shoulder popped. Lucky for McCarthy he was swimming with good mates New Zealand’s Ben Campbell and fellow Tasmanian Ryan Peake.

McCarthy was rushed to hospital where doctors worked throughout the evening to limit the damage and stabilise his arm.

“It happened out of nowhere as I was just swimming out through the break,” said McCarthy, the 2009 Tasmanian Open and Amateur Champion.

“I was lucky Ben and Ryan were there to help me out of the water and when I looked my arm was literally just hanging there. I was in an incredible amount of pain.”

The initial prognosis was that McCarthy was to be out of the game till at least September 2011, however, following a shoulder scope revision 9th February, performed by renowned surgeon Greg Hoy, the ligament damage has been addressed and measures taken to return the shoulder into a stabilised position. With a period of intensive rehabilitation McCarthy is confident that he’ll be able to return to the game in approximately three month’s time.

“I’m still in a lot of pain,” says McCarthy.

“The rehabilitation will be pretty intense, yet I’m staying focused and resting before commencing the return to the game. I might be able to sneak in Keperra Bowl before playing some minor international events. The plan is to be fully fit to compete in the main English summer events.”

McCarthy last August secured a top-16 finish at the US Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay and secured numerous top-20 finishes in main US amateur events that season, including strong results at the Porter Cup, Southern Amateur and Dogwood Invitational.

“I’ve been staying focused and working with my coach, Peter Knight, on the biomechanics with the swing in an attempt to become technically better.”

“There are some positives to come from this as I would not have been able to spend as much time on the technical side if I’d been playing.”

Reports indicate that McCarthy will likely make a full recovery.

“The doctors are saying the shoulder is mending well and following the most resent surgery, my shoulder will be stronger than before, probably as strong that I’d be able to play AFL, but I won’t be.”

The recent news following surgery is a lift for McCarthy after a period of uncertainty and uneasiness. McCarthy can look towards the future, as opposed to dwelling on the past.

“I’ll work hard during the rehab process and return to the game stronger and technically better,” he says.

“Initially, it was a real shock to be thinking that my career might be at an end when I was only just starting to get results. Now I can work hard to achieve my goals and I’m looking forward to the international events later in the year. Everyone is being brilliant and Golf Australia have helped me out and without this help, I’m not sure how this would have panned out.”

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