February 28, 2018

MRI Results
The results are in on the MRI on my shoulder on Friday. In layman's terms, the rotator cuff has a slight tear, but it's small enough that they call it "frayed." It's also badly inflamed, with some tendinitis and bursitis. The doctor showed me the pictures on a screen, and while I can't tell the difference between inflamed and normal, the small tear or fraying was obvious.

Now for the technical terms. Here are excerpts from the medical report - read these out loud. I'm not making fun of the doctor's terms, I'm in awe of them! And I thought "heavy no-spin" and "banana flip" were cool terms.

  • Rotator Cuff: There is mild supraspinous tendinosis with bursai sided fraying and interstitial fissuring. Infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis tendons are intact.
  • Subacromial/Subdeltoid Bursa: Mild bursitis.
  • Glenohumeral Joint: The inferior glenohumeral ligament is mildly T2 hyperintense and irregular at the humeral attachment.
  • Labrum: There is subtle signal abnormality within the superior labrum from approximately 1 o'clock to the 9 o'clock axis, suspicious for a nondisplaced tear. There is a punctate paralabral cyst near the 1 o'clock axis. … Nondisplaced tear of the superior labrum.
  • Soft tissues: there is trace, physiologic amount of glenohumeral joint fluid without synovitis.
  • Mildly hyperintense and heterogeneous inferior glenohumeral ligament near the humeral attachment, nonspecific but may represent a mild sprain or adhesive capsulitis.

I'll have a better prognosis after I meet with the physical therapist today at 2PM, but it most likely means I'll be back to at least "easy" coaching within a month. I'm still doing group sessions, where I mostly give lectures, simple demos (which I can do without hurting the shoulder), and do multiball. I can feed multiball topspin without problem, but backspin puts a small strain on the shoulder, so I'm avoiding that for now. In a few weeks I might have to differentiate in my private coaching between beginners and advanced players, since the latter is where I have to play at a faster, more physical pace, and would be at more danger of hurting the shoulder. Most of my main serves also put a small strain on the shoulder, so I have to be careful there, though I've learned to adjust some of them to take some of the strain away - but I have to be careful as such adjustments aren't natural, and could put a strain on the arm.

Meanwhile, I'm supposed to do 15 minutes of shoulder stretches three times a week. Yesterday was my 58th birthday, and to celebrate, I only did it twice. Shhh - don't let my doctor know! (I also had two scoops of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream - they were out of Rocky Road - and despite that, this morning I was down to 181.2 pounds, my lightest in years and 19 pounds down from the 200 I reached at Christmas.)

Equipment: Here are the top 6 table tennis equipment questions
Here's the article by Samson Dubina.

Absent in London, Boll Moves to the Top, Ma Long Undefeated, Moves Down
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington. "As Federer reaches new heights by becoming the oldest tennis World number 1, it was 36 year old Timo Boll who returns to the top spot in the ITTF March World Ranking list. Notably absent from the 2018 ITTF World Team Cup it raises further questions about the adjustment phase of the new world ranking system."

World Team Cup Successes Launch Team USA Higher
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington on the improved rankings of USA stars Kanak Jha, Lily Zhang, and Amy Wang.

The Loop Drive Comes to the U.S—Crashes Against de Walle
Here's Table Tennis Tidbits #19 by Richard Ho. "The loop drive was formally introduced to this country at the U.S. Open in Detroit, Michigan in 1963 by Jacobsen and Baddeley from England. The Friday evening before the main matches of the following day, Jacobsen demonstrated the new technique.  Local aficionados lined up to take their turns returning the loop.  Those who attempted a chop return watched their balls flying “sky high” in coping with the extreme topspin not previously encountered.  A successful block return necessitated an extremely “closed” blade to prevent the ball from going long."

A Day in the Life of Kai Zhang: Table Tennis Master
Here's the article from the Binghamton University Newspaper. "Kai Zhang may look just like any other Binghamton University student, but in reality he is a nationally ranked table tennis player. Originally from Beijing, China, Kai moved to Pleasantville, N.Y., five years ago to have more opportunities in table tennis and his education."

SpinBlock Table Tennis Club Grand Opening Announcement
Here's the news item on the new full-time Indianapolis, IN club. Here's the SpinBlock TTC webpage. I've added it to the listing of full-time clubs, which is now at 93.

Across the Net
Here's the March issue from the Melton TTC in Australia, with a number of interesting articles, some of them coaching related. Here are their archives.

Army Pong
Here's the cartoon!

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