Knee Injury Documentary: Josh Barens, Michigan State Soccer

Josh Barens: Knee Injury Documentary


Josh Barens’ Knee Injury Documentary: Determined

Soccer has been Josh Barens’ first love since he could kick a soccer ball. Two season-ending injuries in his collegiate career have taken away the game he loves. Now Josh battles to return to the game that has given him so much in life.


Josh-Barens- Michigan State Soccer

Josh Barens is a redshirt senior defender for the Michigan State Spartans soccer team. In his freshman year, he started 21 of 22 games with two assists. His game continued to improve as he played his sophomore year, starting 19 games. With two years under his belt, he was sure to continue his growth for the soccer team… until one day on March 22 of 2012, Josh Barens tore his ACL in an exhibition game. He was racing down the sideline with the ball, but like every athlete that tears their ACL, his knee buckled when he planted his foot on the turf field, tearing his ACL.

After intensive physical therapy, Josh felt that his hamstring was strong enough to perform again int he spring of 2014. It does not state in the video, but since he mentions his hamstring, it’s likely that he went with an ACL hamstring-graft. Learn more about an ACL hamstring-graft here.

Only 10 minutes into his first game, he re-tore his ACL.

“I finally felt my hamstring was at a good enough point to where I could play, so that was my first start back… and 10 minutes in, ended up re-tearing my ACL. ‘I can’t believe that happened again.’” – Josh Barens, MSU soccer

Here’s what Josh had to say about returning back to the field as the video came to a close.

“I can’t stop yet. My last game I played was almost 3 years ago. I’m just not ready to stop playing soccer yet, I’m not. And honestly, all these injuries and all this time that I’ve been out have made me just want to play that much more ‘cause i feel like it was just taken away from me and I feel like I would never ever take anything for granted again; every practice, every video session. So I’ve just been waiting to get my chance to go and show what I’ve learned from the experiences. I just love this sport, it’s been my dream and you’ve got to keep chasing your dreams. I’m not ready to give up on mine.”

To Josh Barens(and anyone that had two ACL injuries):

Your statement at the end of the video is the exact mentality you need to continue to have. A second torn ACL is certainly worse than the first because of how much rehab you’ve gone through, especially having torn it your first game back. You are not the only that it’s happened to. Since you’ve been through physical therapy once, you know what to do. The hardest part will be the psychological aspect of an ACL injury. Your biggest challenge will be to fight that person inside your head that brings up the fear of re-tearing your ACL. Be smart about your health and rehabilitation, play smart and understand your body. Continue to focus on neuromuscular training as it will be your best bet for preventing another ACL injury. I wish you the best in your recovery, your season and your future in soccer.

Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Scott Wasserman

Produced and Narrated by Brooks Laimbeer

Production Assistance by Alex Scharg and Adam Zimmer

Impact Sports:



Music licensed from

Josh Barens Michigan State Soccer Bio

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