Everette Lloyd has visited Tennessee three times. Twice, the Freeport, Grand Bahamas, resident came to showcase his skills in the annual Arby’s Classic basketball tournament.
More recently, he came to take advantage of the skills of Bristol Regional Medical Center’s physicians and staff.
Everette, a junior guard at Freeport’s Tabernacle Baptist Academy, first injured his knee in October at a small tournament in the Bahamas. Not realizing the extent of his injury, he continued playing and joined his team for its trip to the local tourney in December.
“I played one half of one game,” said Everette, who also goes by E.J. “Then the knee gave out.”
E.J. had torn several ligaments in his right knee, including his anterior cruciate ligament. He was examined by Lisle Whitman, MD, of Appalachian Orthopaedics, and surgery was deemed necessary.
So last week, E.J. and his family made a return trip to Bristol for the procedure and rehabilitation. The decision to return to Bristol Regional instead of seeking medical help at home was an easy one, he said.
“Dr. Whitman is the one who did the initial tests,” E.J. said. “I figured he knew what was wrong with it, and he’d know the best way to fix it.”
The surgery was successful, and E.J. is almost finished rehabilitating the knee. It will be six to eight months before he can play on it, he said, but a full recovery is expected. For E.J., a Division I prospect, the news couldn’t be better.
“I’m glad I made this decision,” he said. “It’s very cold up here and I don’t like that, but the people are very nice.”
Carlos Navarro, Bristol Regional’s coordinator of sports and occupational medicine, is glad E.J. decided to make the trip as well.
“I love working with high-school athletes like E.J.,” Navarro said. “They are so motivated to get better, and they work so hard. They keep me young.”
E.J.’s last day of rehabilitation is Wednesday, and he leaves for the Bahamas on Thursday. But a return trip to Bristol is definitely in the cards, he said.
“I’ll be playing in the Arby’s Classic next year,” he said. “You can see me play then.”