Benign leg tumor could force Baylor’s Kim to miss season

Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek

Benign leg tumor could force Baylor’s Kim to miss season

Women

Benign leg tumor could force Baylor’s Kim to miss season

Three weeks ago during a team workout, Baylor’s Dylan Kim felt a strange pop in her left hip while pushing a weighted sled. An X-ray didn’t reveal anything, so the next day doctors gave the sophomore an MRI. What they found jarred everyone: A large tumor was wrapped around Kim’s left hip joint.

“It was the size of a baseball,” Baylor head coach Jay Goble said.

Actually, Kim said, it wound up being football-shaped, roughly 10 by 6 centimeters (about 4 by 2 1/3 inches). Twice as big as what doctors initially had thought. The surgery took place Oct. 20 in Temple, Texas. Doctors cut part of Kim’s leg bone, dislocated her left hip and removed the lining of the joint along with the benign tumor.

“It was major,” said Kim, who now has a 7-inch scar on her hip and a couple of screws in her body.

Back home in Plano, Texas, Kim tried to watch live scoring as teammates competed without her but found it difficult to look at small print without getting sick.

Kim, who turned 19 on Oct. 8, said her hip has bothered her off and on for several years – particularly on long flights – but she shrugged it off as mere tightness. More recently, she noticed that her swing felt “weird,” yet couldn’t determine what had might have changed.

The powerful player burst onto the college scene last January, helping Baylor finish runner-up to Stanford at the NCAA Championship. She boasts the kind of golf swing that turns heads, and seemed primed for a monster sophomore campaign.

Now it’s possible the Bears won’t see her back in the lineup at all this season.

“This kind of stuff, from what we’re reading, it takes a while,” Kim said. “No less than three months, I’d say.”

For the next five weeks, Kim can’t put any weight on her left leg. She gets around now with a walker and the aid of her mother, Jean. She hopes to return to the Waco campus next week, and plans for mom to join her. The school has a motorized scooter that Kim can use to get to class.

Doctors told Kim that the rehab process could take up to six months, in which case she would take a medical redshirt for the season. Kim has missed two tournaments already this fall, with Baylor finishing 15th and 10th. Next week, the Bears will participate in the inaugural East Lake Cup, which features semifinalists from the 2015 NCAA men’s and women’s finals.

“I really don’t like traveling to golf tournaments without her,” Goble said.

It will be an adjustment for the Bears, though help is on the way. Colombia’s Maria Vesga is expected to join Baylor’s lineup in January.

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