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Former Union City Football Player Comes Back from Surgery Stronger than Ever

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Saint Michael’s Medical Center Helps Rising Star Recovery from Knee Injury

NEWARK, N.J. – On January 6, Florida State won the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn. It was a major victory for the entire team, including junior guard, Josue Matias – from Union City – who also celebrated his 21 birthday that day.

Matias has proven that he has what it takes to overcome adversity and become a champion. It has been more than three years since Matias sustained an extensive and rare knee injury, which he thought might end his football career permanently. On August 28, 2010, Matias was playing in the season’s first scrimmage game for Union City High School when he suffered a patellar tendon avulsion complicated by a bone fracture to his right knee. "It was heartbreaking to have such a big injury at the start of the season during my senior year. I thought my career was over," says Matias.

Matias turned to Richard Boiardo, M.D., Chairman, Department of Musculoskeletal Services at Saint Michael’s Medical Center. "Dr. Boiardo was great. He explained what the injury was, and exactly how he would fix it," says Matias. "He and the entire hospital staff were very professional, and it was a great experience."

"The surgery was quite complicated, especially for a patient his size," explains Dr. Boiardo. At the time, Matias was 6’6” and weighed about 270 lbs. "Another complicated aspect was the nature of the injury," says Dr. Boiardo. "It was a combination of a bony fracture and ligament, and meniscus injury." During the surgery, Dr. Boiardo and the team at Saint Michael’s reduced the fracture and applied internal fixation. Both the ligament and meniscus were successfully repaired. Matias went on to a rigorous rehabilitation process, pushing himself to the limits both physically and mentally. In February 2011, he went on to accept a scholarship from Florida State.

While this injury prevented him from playing football his senior year at Union City High School, it taught him many lessons that he still carries with himself today. "Being out of the game for so long made me realize how much I love it, but I stayed positive and worked hard to come back stronger than ever," says Matias. "Now, I just look toward the future, and play my best at every game." And Matias' future in football is shaping out to be a very bright one.

About Saint Michael’s Medical Center

Established by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1867, Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a 357-bed regional tertiary-care, teaching, and research center in the heart of Newark’s business and educational district. Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a member of Catholic Health East. More information is available at