Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 1, 2014

A shocking return

High-wattage therapy gets Bryant back on the hill

Two years, two surgeries, a half-dozen comeback tries in either of two sports and one dose of reality.

After such a promising freshman season in which he started for the shorthanded basketball team and came out of the Andover High bullpen regularly in the spring, Reid Bryant’s high school career took a turn that you wish on no student-athlete.

Like the 7-6 win he closed out for the Golden Warriors over Lawrence early last week, Bryant hopes to slam the door shut on those two brutal years and salvage the next 14 months.

Behind it all has been some medicine, a little magic and a whole lot of pain — watts and watts of it.

Bryant’s unexpectedly rapid rise this spring is the product of “ARP” — an electroshock therapy that is used to stimulate the muscles around his knee and help them rejuvenate.

Hooking up to an electric current is as tough as it sounds.

“On the pain scale (one to 10), it’s definitely a nine, like the most painful thing I’ve ever been through,” Bryant said.

His father, Dan Bryant, thought his son might have been exaggerating initially. But not since he began similar therapy on his ailing foot.

“I laughed at him,” his father said. “I’m not laughing now. I’m telling you, it hurts ... a lot.”

The younger Bryant, who tore his meniscus and the patellar tendon in his knee in August 2012, is hoping all that is finally behind him.

“It feels good, better and better. Coach has done a nice job of limiting my pitches and I’ve been able to go longer and longer,” he said.

Bryant has progressed to the point that he was ready last week to make his first start.

The left-hander showed nothing but guts in locking down his first save of the year with two innings of two-hit relief last Tuesday, April 22, against the Lancers. He came in with the bases loaded in the sixth and escaped by allowing just one of the three inherited runners to score.

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