Missy Franklin Back in the Pool After Double Shoulder Surgery

Missy Franklin‘s career has been marred by adversity these last several years. In 2014, it was back spasms that kept her from performing to her full potential, and she continued to struggle in the years that followed. The once-bubbly teenager, who took the world by storm and set the world record in the 200 back in 2012, was not the same.

Franklin faced ultimate disappointment this past summer, looking sluggish at the Olympic Trials. She was only able to qualify for Rio individually in two events, the 200 free and 200 back, and also qualified to swim the 800 free relay. Franklin watched on in the 800 free relay finals after a lackluster prelims swim that left her off the 800 free final at night. The Americans would go on to win gold in that race, while Franklin stumbled and was unable to make the Olympic finals of either of her individual events.

Franklin hasn’t raced since Rio, and she’s been quiet since opening up about her disappointment from last summer. Still, she is back in the pool. According to a tweet posted by her today, she underwent surgery earlier this year on both her shoulders for bursitis after a January MRI. This surgery removed excess scar tissue that had built up in her shoulder, and now, according to “Doctor and Coach’s orders,” she’s taking it easy.

Franklin mentions that she is still back in the pool “in limited training” but won’t be racing quite so soon. She’s determined to bounce back, although her return to competition is unknown yet. View her tweet, with the full announcement, below.

Franklin also made a longer caption on her Facebook page with the same announcement. She thanks her fans for supporting her, and gives a special shoutout to her “Bear Bros and phenomenal coaches,” referring to her training group at the Cal. Additionally, she alludes to more swimming statements to be made in the future: “I’m so far from being done with this sport.”

This essentially says it all… but I would really like to reiterate how this is what's best for me to come back…

Posted by Missy Franklin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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Marklewis
4 years ago

In case anyone had any doubts or had forgotten, Missy still loves everyone. She loves everyone because they love her. She’s so grateful for all the love.

Maybe all the loving thoughts will heal her shoulders (and her confidence) and she will get the Missy Mojo back.

Everyone loves a happy ending, right?

Dawgpaddle
Reply to  Marklewis
4 years ago

The happy ending is usually when an athlete retires on top. I certainly wish Missy a miraculous recovery and that her swimming career be fulfilling. I also hope she is not expecting very much in terms of being competitive with the best in the world. Her time is past.

Cate
Reply to  Dawgpaddle
4 years ago

Why is it only a happy ending when an athlete retires on top? The happy ending is when they retire when they WANT to retire. When Tom Brady was asked when he would retire he said, “When I suck”. If that’s what he wants good for him.

Hambone
Reply to  Marklewis
4 years ago

Yes, her interviews tend to be a little overly sweet and syrupy, but come on……she’s a phenomenal athlete and seems like a genuinely nice person. Hope to see her back to full potential soon.

Lane Four
Reply to  Marklewis
4 years ago

How does Mark’s posting merit 34 thumbs down? I cease to be amazed at the amount of haters online. Shaking head slowly.

Scott Morgan
Reply to  Lane Four
4 years ago

I sensed a tone of hating and irony in Mark’s post. I think some others sensed this as well.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
4 years ago

Only in America are six medals (five gold, one bronze) in two Olympic Games considered by some naysayers a disappointing underachievement! Here’s wishing Missy Franklin recovery in every way that heals her!

samuel huntington
Reply to  MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
4 years ago

failing to final in her two events at Rio was a disappointing underachievement. people tend to only remember what’s recent, so her London performance is basically forgotten

Pau Hana
Reply to  MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
4 years ago

I don’t think anyone considers her career to be an underachievement. Many people, including Missy herself, consider Rio to be a disappointment. And I can’t imagine there isn’t anyone who doesn’t want to see her back on top again.

Markster
Reply to  MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
4 years ago

I think people are referring to her Rio performance. Of course if you add her London medals it’s not an underachieving but no one is trying to say that..

Cate
Reply to  MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
4 years ago

It depends on the potential of the particular athlete whether it is disappointing or not.

James
4 years ago

All my best for a swift recovery for Missy.

Dan
Reply to  James
4 years ago

Who puts a thumbs down on a comment wishing someone a recovery from an injury?

Bigly
Reply to  Dan
4 years ago

Top three U.S. women’s backstrokers maybe?

BG
Reply to  Dan
2 years ago

When a poster tosses out the inevitable ‘best wishes’ to a famous person, it can be construed as egocentric. Fact is, she doesn’t know the poster exists, and so one might reasonably think that post is really just a ‘look at me; I care’ kind of thing. All about the person posting.

Markster
4 years ago

Nice to have a bit of a break from the Missy interviews.

Domino
Reply to  Markster
4 years ago

You know you could just not watch them, right?

Pam
4 years ago

Best wishes for a complete recovery for Missy.

Brian M
4 years ago

The 2017 Women’s NCAA 200 Free final reminds me of how special of a swimmer Missy is. All of that talent pushing each other, and still they were not within a second of Missy’s record.

anonymous
Reply to  Brian M
4 years ago

Exactly!

masters swimmer
Reply to  Brian M
4 years ago

Excellent point! It is sad how swimming is so Olympics-centric. Her last season at Cal at NCAAs was amazing. Not to mention her accolades as a student athlete at the top public university in the US. It just seems like these important and noteworthy accomplishments don’t get noticed. Missy is a champion and awesome person.

Prickle
Reply to  masters swimmer
4 years ago

I am surprised that this 1:39 hasn’t surprised you. This time is well out of reach for such aces in swimming like Simone Manuel, Allison Schmitt and Katie Ledecky – Olympic gold medalists who are quite capable of swimming record times at 200 yards
This result could be achieved if she was in best ever form. But nothing else besides this particular race indicated that. She wad just good at backstroke, freestyle sprint and 500free. There is some popular opinion that Missy Franklin can concentrate and deliver when it matters. But just a few months later she failed to do so in Kazan at her key disciplines. Interesting that as many people stated here she actually hasn’t focused on… Read more »

Swimclh
Reply to  masters swimmer
4 years ago

But what about her degree?

Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

Missy was doing great until her back spasms, then she seemed to lose the flexibility on her starts and underwaters. I would love to see Missy get back in form and have some good races with Emily, Kathleen, and Kotinka.

Hambone
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

Yes – I wonder if the shoulder issues were a domino-effect from losing flexibility elsewhere.

Swimclh
Reply to  Hambone
4 years ago

rotator cuff problems are almost always due to a weak back and tight chest

GARYP
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

That amazing 1:39 200 free was after her back spasm issues, though. Clearly something else was bothering in the run up to trials and Rio. Now we have a very plausible physical explanation.

Pvdh
4 years ago

I wish her the best, but she really isn’t a major factor for Team USA anymore. Despite her absence USA got silver in the 100 back and gold in the 200

Caleb
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

Well yeah, but if she’s healthy she could certainly be a player, at least in the 200 and maybe 200 free. Tough coming back from injury but she’s only what, 21? And just two years out from top-level performances.

Troy
Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

She did go a 1:39.10 in 200 free short course. Especially with walls never being her specialty, very impressive. We just saw 3 top level female athletes go 140.

Troy
Reply to  Troy
4 years ago

Two of the three are multiple time gold medalist

GARYP
Reply to  Troy
4 years ago

Exactly what I was thinking. She doesn’t even have to get back to her best to be our best option for the 200 free.

Dan
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

If she gets back to her best, she will be a factor in these events for team USA.

dmswim
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

But that gold medalist in the 200 has since retired.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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