World Junior champ Luca Urlando is fully recovered from a dislocated shoulder, his coach says, and is still on track to attend the University of Georgia next year.
The 18-year-old is one of the top rising swim stars in the United States. Last summer, he won the World Junior Championships gold medal in the 200 fly and 200 free, along with three relay golds for the United States. He finished the season ranked #3 in the world in the 200-meter butterfly (1:53.84) and #1 among all Americans.
But in early 2020, Urlando posted on Instagram, announcing that he’d dislocated his left shoulder during a swim workout. Recovery was expected to take a couple of months, a major setback only about five months out of U.S. Olympic Trials.
The Olympic Trials and the 2020 Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Urlando’s coach says the butterflyer had returned to full training by late February.
“He is back to swimming full stroke fly again and that is progressing extremely well,” said DART coach Billy Doughty when we reached out to get an update on Urlando’s shoulder. Doughty mentioned that Urlando was able to do some heavy leg training at altitude while rehabbing his shoulder, which actually had Urlando “doing some things in practice he couldn’t do before the injury.”
Urlando is currently training our of a 25-meter backyard pool, lifting, and continuing to rehab his shoulder.
With the Olympic postponement, there have been many questions from fans about how college-aged Olympic hopefuls will approach the season after a long list of redshirts and Olympic deferrals in the previous NCAA season. Urlando is currently finishing his senior year of high school, and is the #2 recruit in the nation, signed on with the University of Georgia.
Doughty says, though, that the plan is still for Urlando to head to the Georgia next season, assuming the school year is able to begin normally under current coronavirus conditions.