Back On Two Feet | Martin Davalos
The road to recovery isn’t over for Davalos, but these next three weeks could change that completely
By Jordan Powell
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Martin Davalos was where every Supercross athlete hoped to be in the 2014 season—at the top. However, with only two rounds to go, Davalos had a devastating crash while practicing out at Milestone MX in Riverside, California, which resulted in a barrage of broken bones and torn tendons in his right foot. Instantly, the Ecuadorian's hopes of securing the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites championship had diminished.
Four months and two surgeries later, Davalos is hoping to finally get back on two feet, and back on the bike so that he can start preparing for the upcoming 2015 season. We caught up with him to see how things have been healing up, and what else he's been up to.
What's been going on? Are you back in California now?
Well, I actually just put my house up for rent in Georgia because I'm going to be based out of California for next year. Last year I didn't do that, and now I want to try that out. Other than that, I've been just trying to get through the day. This injury has taken a lot out of me. It's been over four months now. I'm still in the boot, but these next two to three weeks are going to be very crucial to see what I can do, going forward.
So talk about your foot for a bit. How come this injury is taking so long to heal?
When I crashed April 26th, I obviously dislocated my foot. Dr. Ryman is a great doctor and his biggest concern was my navicular because it was shattered completely, and that bone is pretty small. So, I had that going on plus damaged ligaments and tendons, a broken calcaneus (heel), and bone bruising all over the place. Still, the surgeons biggest concern was fixing the navicular. They did a great job fixing it, and they put me in a cast for two months. Now, as a doctor, the other stuff should have healed up being in a cast for two months because I had no movement. Two months went down the road, I got out of the boot for a couple of weeks, and I started to do some therapy. I was dealing with some pain here and there, but I kept telling myself that maybe it was just some scar tissue. So, I just kind of dealt with it, but after a while I started to think that something wasn't right. I ended up calling an ankle specialist—Dr. John Torregrosa—and he ordered up an MRI. As it turned out, my calcaneus was still broken. It never healed, and I think that's because my foot was under so much trauma. So, Dr. Torregrosa said that he could try a bone stimulator to see if it would heal in four weeks, or I could have surgery. I didn't think I could afford another four weeks, so I flew to Miami two days later to have the surgery done.
It's been a long road and a lot of frustration because of where I was, and how close I was to achieving that championship. I think that just kind of made things worse.
Is it also frustrating that it's been four months and your ankle still isn't healed?
Yeah, it's very frustrating because I have a season to get ready for. Also, I've watched my competition throughout the summer, and they're just getting better and better because they're in good shape. I've been trying to stay active as possible by going to the gym and doing upper body stuff, but there's only so much I can do. I was in such great shape at the beginning of 2014 that it sucks being on the couch.
Within these next two to three weeks, it's possible that you might be able to start physical therapy?
Well, I went through almost a month of therapy before I had this second surgery. So, I think in three weeks that it's possible for me to start riding. Start riding meaning not going to a Supercross track, but riding on a vet track to break through some of the scar tissue. My ankle will be fine in the boot, but I just want to make sure everything is safe because I don't want to be taking any steps backwards. Obviously I have to do what's best for me, but I feel like I have anxiety right now. I want to ride.
At this point, do you know what's going on for next year, or are you just taking things day by day?
I mean, I honestly have to take things day by day. I want to be ready to race come Anaheim I, but am I going to be ready? I don't know. I don't know how things are going to go in three weeks. Maybe for the first month I'll only be able to ride two times a weeks because my foot hurts. So, I think everything is up in the air. I'm trying to stay positive, though, and hopefully this is it.
Are you still staying with your same trainer [Ty Kady] for 2015?
Yep. I feel like we work super well together, and he knows where my body needs to be. There's some stuff going on for me for 2015, so we have to prepare for that.
What have you been doing to keep yourself sane from this injury?
Well, I went to Ecuador do see my family for a little bit. Other than that, I honestly haven't been doing much. I've been trying to get out of the house whenever I can and hang out with some of my friends during the day.