Luca Urlando Dislocated His Shoulder; Recovery To Take ‘A Couple of Months’

United States age group phenom Luca Urlando dislocated his shoulder in practice last weekend, he announced in an Instagram post Monday night.

Urlando wrote that recovery will take “a couple of months,” but that he has resources available to him at the United States Olympic Training Center that will help with the process.

“I am optimistic that I will be able to reach my goal of swimming well at Olympic Trials,” Urlando wrote.

Urlando, 17, hails from Davis, CA. He swims club for DART and is committed to swim for the University of Georgia next fall.

In Irvine at 2018 Summer Nationals, he had a breakout meet, highlighted by a third-place finish in the 200 fly. With that swim, he qualified for the U.S. Junior Pan Pacs team. In Fiji, Urlando won gold medals in the 100 and 200 fly as well as the 400 medley and mixed medley relays.

He rode that success through early 2019, then in June at the Mel Zajac Jr. International meet, Urlando clocked a 1:54.35 lifetime best in the 200 fly — it was also the fastest time done by an American since Michael Phelps’ gold medal winning swim at the 2016 Olympic Games. He followed that swim up by breaking Phelps’ 16-year-old 17-18 national age group record with a 1:53.84 at the Pro Swim Series stop in Clovis. The performance made Urlando the third-fastest American in history, only trailing Phelps and Tyler Clary.

Last summer, Urlando was voted as one of five captains for Team USA’s World Junior Championships roster.

On day one, Urlando swam on the 4×100 free relay in finals, where he split 48.73 on the second leg to help break the world junior record in a time of 3:15.80. On day two, he won his first individual gold of the meet, touching first in the 200 free in a time of 1:46.97.

On day three, Urlando helped USA to gold once again, this time leading off the mixed 4×100 free relay in 49.66 en route to a new world junior record of 3:25.92. The next day, Urlando was second on the 4×200 free relay, which broke another world junior record; he split 1:47.13 en route to a final time of 7:08.37.

Urlando rounded out his individual swims with a win in the 200 fly, touching for a gold medal performance in 1:55.02.

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Phelps broke his wrist in the leadup to 07 or 08 I believe. We know how that turned out. Get ’em Luca!


…maybe let’s not put that much pressure on this kid. MP was already the greatest ever at that point…

Speed Racer

A wrist is a little different than a shoulder.


And a dislocation is different to a break… once it’s happened, it’s much more likely to happen again 🙁

Speed Racer



It’s also an opportunity to correct any strength imbalances and come out of this stronger and more bulletproof for the long run.


In my case I had the initial dislo, then a year and a half later a second, then six months and a third, then it got sill where I would reach behind me for something and pop. I learned to swim for rehab after surgery, so there’s a positive.


Phelps broke his wrist in the leadup to 08 (autumn07), but the most significant comparison with the Goat would be about the season after Beijing08, when he started training in late March09, completely out of shape after all those parties and overcoming the doubts of leaving swimming because of the “bong-scandal”. Well, just 4 months of training and at Worlds09 Phelps swam two WRs in the fly distances and won the rematch with Cavic, who suited a more efficient 100% poly-suit and was in perfect shape, so was the clear favorite of that race: true legend.


Agreed. I think Phelps may have left his best performance in the training pool in 2016. Trained so hard that year and didn’t compensate for his age with allowing more recovery time. Happens to a lot of veteran swimmers. It’s staggering how much the recovery curve changes with age and scary to rest so much more than they’re used to.


and his car door story was a lie.



Chicken Nugget

Can’t even imagine the stress and anxiety of this happening. Wishing him the best of luck for a speedy recovery


This might actually take the pressure off. Expectations were sky high before this injury. Now he can be the hunter.


I’m guessing that Urlando locked left arms with a swimmer on the other side of the black line during a butterfly swim.


maybe. I almost popped my shoulder out of joint on a back stroke finish when the wall was closer than I guessed. I’ve heard a few stories like that.


I think Weitzeil jammed her arm on a finish last year at Pac 12s


It was the 200 medley relay at NCAA’s , but yes. She did something to her elbow. Hasn’t appeared to be an issue long-term though.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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