Ohio State guard Karlie Cronin runs down the court during the Buckeyes game against the Purdue Boilermakers on Feb 18. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor

As collegiate athletes, players have only so many years they can compete in their sport.

For a pair of Ohio State women’s basketball players, one year will go by the wayside following surgeries.

Ohio State senior guard Karlie Cronin had season ending ACL surgery, the second member of the team, along with redshirt senior guard Ashanti Abshaw, to undergo the knee surgery this season.

Cronin, who came from Southern Methodist University, was in her second year as a member of Ohio State’s basketball team after having received a scholarship last spring. She also played lacrosse for Ohio State last season, starting two games for the Buckeyes while appearing in seven games.

As a multi-sport athlete, Cronin is trying to stay positive knowing that her season has come to a halt.

“I’m pretty sad,” Cronin said. “Just like that my season ended. I don’t know, I’m just hanging in there.”

The Buckeyes have had unfortunate luck this season between Cronin and Abshaw. The two talk and, while upset, Cronin said they find comfort in having someone else on the team who can understand what they are going through.

After sustaining this type of injury before, Abshaw said she is progressing well with her physical therapy after her surgery, which took place on Nov. 6. She noted she is ahead of schedule and is focusing on strengthening exercises such as squats and wall sits.

“It’s been great, I’m doing really well,” Abshaw said. “I’m actually like two months ahead of my timeline.”

While fans understand that there is a process to returning from injury, some might not fully grasp all it takes to get back into game action after sustaining such a serious injury, considering the mental strain it can have on players.

Cronin hasn’t decided what she plans on doing after this season in terms of furthering her playing career, but knows she wants to continue to help the team even through the hard times of the injury.

“It’s just really mentally taxing cause you feel like you could play after a certain point,” Cronin said. “And it’s such a long process, like even when you feel ready, you still can’t play. Just having to wait until they give you the go ahead and going to rehab everyday but not being able to play is just really hard.”

The process can be even harder for players like Cronin, who was not anticipated to have a heavy rotation spot, and whose future playing career remains unknown.

For Abshaw, she is beginning to look at other options following Ohio State as she recoversin her last year of eligibility. She said she plans to potentially play overseas in the future.

After suffering her second surgery, Abshaw said her message to people is to appreciate what you have before it is gone.

“Cherish basketball before it’s taken away,” Abshaw said. “Not saying it’s always going to be taken away I just want to say, cherish it while you have it.”