When Andrew Suitor was carried off of the field after sustaining a season-ending knee injury last month in Edmonton, Swarm fans held their collective breath.
The youngest team captain in NLL history is Minnesota’s undisputed leader, provides toughness, and had recently rattled off a streak of three-straight games with at least one unassisted goal.
Needless to say, Suitor is a workhorse and looks at the rehab ahead of him as a challenge. Despite being injured, he has emerged as the team’s biggest cheerleader on the sidelines and is already setting benchmarks in the recovery process.
In the following Q&A, find out how “Suits” is attacking his rehab, pushing the Swarm to victory from the sidelines, and planning on coming back bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before.
Satzinger: You play for the Peterborough Lakers in the summer and Swarm in the winter, but do you have any other jobs throughout the year?
Suitor: I work in a warehouse back home for my dad running the forklift, stocking shelves and picking orders so that we can supply corporations for the year.
Satzinger: What’s the camaraderie like of being on two teams that coach Sullivan and several of your teammates are all a part of?
Suitor: It’s good, I think it translates well both to the summer and the winter. I have the utmost respect for Sully and love playing for him whether it be for Peterborough or Minnesota. To play with MacIntosh, Carlson, Watty, and Gillam year-round is unbelievable and I can’t ask for better teammates.
Satzinger: There was a stretch earlier this year where you scored an unassisted goal in three consecutive games. How were you able to take advantage of those chances?
Suitor: Just transitioning, getting the right bounce off of the boards or picking off a pass and capitalizing on a breakaway. Being able to find the back of the net is great, a goal is a goal, but I’d rather get an assist every time. As long as we win the game I don’t care how they go in.
Satzinger: You went down with the knee injury about a month ago. How’s that recovery been going?
Suitor: It’s good, just twelve days after surgery I’m now riding a stationary bike, which the physiotherapist said is the fastest she’s ever seen someone do it. Right now that’s my big accomplishment and hopefully there’s many more of them to come.
Satzinger: There have been a lot of athletes going down with ACL and other knee injuries over the past few years. Have you reached out to any of them for advice on how to speed up the recovery process and come back stronger?
Suitor: I’ve talked to a lot of guys in the NLL that have done it and even a few guys in the NHL that have gone through knee injuries as well. Just getting good support from them, tips on rehab and staying as positive as I can will help me come back better than I was before.
Satzinger: I’ve heard that despite being sidelined you’re the team’s biggest cheerleader. How have you been making your teammates better despite being injured?
Suitor: I think they do that themselves. I’m just here to talk to or crack a joke here and there to keep them loose. I still talk before games and they give me the opportunity to put my two cents in. Callum’s been doing a great job leading this team and other guys have really stepped up as leaders too. Hopefully things continue to roll like they did against Washington, but the leadership that we have on this team is superior to any other that I’ve been a part of.
Satzinger: Heading into Friday’s game against Philadelphia, what’s something the Swarm needs to look out for in order to win?
Suitor: The endurance of the Philadelphia Wings. They can run for a full sixty minutes and they’re a team that prides themselves on that – as do we. I really think we’re going to see a track meet and that’s going to be about who capitalizes on their game-plans better.
Satzinger: What’s one thing you want all Swarm fans to know about you and how you’re going to come back from this injury?
Suitor: I’m taking this injury as a challenge and I hope that everyone notices right away next year that I am bigger, faster, and stronger. I’ve already made appointments with new trainers back home and I’m going to take a new approach to next season. I’m going to come back as a better player.