Raw Magazine-12/02
Written off by critics, Kevin Nash prepares for his comeback
By Aaron Williams

Kevin Nash has been in Birmingham, Alababma, rehabbing his torn quadriceps muscle for only one week when the rumors started flying. The internet was soon brimmimg with in-depth articles describing his thought process, while industry newsletters dedicated thousands of words explaining every detail of his actions.

Reports began to surface about some patients who had been unable to see thier doctors during morning hours and others who had their appointments rescheduled for days later. Some industry insiders postulated that Nash's quadriceps was in perfect condition, and that he was in Birmingham for an entirely different reason. Other "reporters" wouldn't go quite that far, but stated that their investigations proved that Nash was doing something evil.

After all, in the months before he arrived in Birmingham, the average recovery time for patients who had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery was 21 days. After Nash arrived, it became 22 days. Recovery time for torn hamstrings had gone from 62 days to 64, and although the recovery time for sprained ankles had decreased from 18 to 17 days, patients were now doing an extra 5 minutes of rehab a day. Meanwhile, Kevin Nash was recuperating from his torn quadriceps well ahead of schedule. Anonymous sources claimed that morale at the rehab center was down and insurance payments were down 0.5% in inflation-adjusted 1970 dollars.

There could be only one answer, and the internet and newsletters had it: Kevin Nash was holding back people in rehab, and the entire medical profession was suffering.

Drastic measures needed to be taken. For the good of medicine and the well-being of thousands of rehab patients, Nash would have to reform his ways. He could no longer insist on scheduling his appointments for the morning. If he could lift more weight than a fellow patient who was working out next to him, he'd have to lift less in order to make the other patient look stronger. Despite the fact that he had already undergone 21 major surgeries and competed as a world-class athelete for more than 20 years, he should no longer be allowed to discuss rehabbing with doctors or other patients. For the good of the American public, Kevin Nash should remain injured and not heal until every other patient in Birmingham, Alabama, had completely recovered. The survival of the entire public healthcare system depended upon him doing what was "right for the business."

The other side of the story is very different, of course. Last July, Kevin Nash suffered a severly torn quadriceps muscle. He had surgery on his leg a few days later, and since then has been rehabbing diligently.

For several weeks following the surgery, he was confined to a wheelchair. Through intensive physical therapy, he progressed to the point where he was able to get along on his own. Soon afterward, he was back in the gym, strengthening his leg and maintaining the rest of his body.

Many predicted the injury signaled the end of his career. After all, what was the likelihood that a 40-year-old man, who had already undergone numerous surgeries, would be able to recover from such a serious setback.

Nash, of course, had other ideas. He still loves the business, and having recovered from previous operations, knew what the rehab process would entail. He was used to coming back and was prepared to do whatever it took to get back in the ring.

Five months later, Nash is well on his way to returning. Doctors told him that it might take a year to come back, but if things keep progressing as they have, Nash could return in early 2003.

For the past few months, his daily routine goes as follows:

He arrives at rehab about nine in the morning and does physical therapy for an hour or so. Afterwards, he heads to the gym to work on his strength and conditioning, and then breaks for lunch. He's back at rehab in the afternoon, and then will either go out for dinner or return to his hotel.

It's not an exciting life, but he is making the best of it. When in Birmingham, he heads out every now and then to a restaurant or bar - although in redidicating himself he doesn't stay out very late. But for the most part, he stays at his hotel. When he's home in Florida, he spends a lot of time with his son, something he's not able to do when he's on the road with the WWE.

One thing he hasn't allowed himself to do is get down or feel sorry for himself. He's become well known as a prankster at the rehab center, and makes a point of enjoying life and keeping others' spirits up as well.

If he keeps progressing at his current pace, Nash should return to the ring much sooner than anyone expected. And what does he have planned for his return?

"I can't say what I'll be doing when I get back, but I still think I have a lot to offer. I love this industry and definitely have some unfinished business. We'll have something special planned when I come back, and I'm sure the fans will enjoy it. I just can't wait to get back out there and hear the roar of the crowd. There's nothing like it."

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