Gianna Bowe won't say it was a good thing that she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee last April.
But the Clearview senior lacrosse star's perpetually sunny disposition allows her to see some benefits to her injury.
"There actually were more positives than negatives that came out of the injury," Bowe said.
Make no mistake: Bowe had a hard time sitting out the second half of her junior season in lacrosse, missing all of her senior season in soccer and skipping everything except one game of her senior season in basketball.
The 5-foot dynamo can't wait to get back on the field when Clearview, which projects as one of South Jersey's top teams, opens the 2015 season next Wednesday at Cherry Hill West.
"I can't even explain the feeling at practices," Bowe said. "We have such great chemistry this year, such a great atmosphere. We all can't wait for the season."
Playing with high energy and enthusiasm is typical for Bowe. She has been known for her spirit as well as her skill and speed since she burst on the South Jersey lacrosse scene as a middle-schooler.
But this year is different, since Bowe is a senior and also is coming off an injury that cut out a large chunk out of the last part of her scholastic career.
"I think because of the injury, she values her time with this team and her final season even more," Clearview coach Megan Conklin said. "She knows not to take anything for granted."
Bowe committed to attend the University of North Carolina on a lacrosse scholarship as a sophomore. So the injury didn't impact her college choices.
But she had to fight through the frustration - as well as the mental and physical challenges of surgery and rehabilitation - after injuring her knee on April 28.
"Everybody told me the mental part would be the hardest part, and they were right," Bowe said.
Bowe remained an active participant for the Clearview lacrosse team during the final month of last season, even as she waited for surgery on June 3.
"It was really, really, really hard," Bowe said. "But I was a captain, and I knew I still had a role on the team."
Said Conklin: "She's the epitome of a team player. Even when she was hurt, she would do whatever she could to help the team."
Bowe spent the summer and fall rehabilitating her knee. She missed all of soccer season and sat at the end of the bench for nearly all of basketball season, appearing in a cameo role in the final game.
"I'm not any good [in basketball]," Bowe said. "But two of my closest friends are on the team, and I loved being part of it. To be able to get out there my last game and run around, it was a surreal feeling."
Bowe said one of the benefits of her injury was that it allowed her to serve as a volunteer coach. She said she helped Clearview's freshmen team in fall and winter play.
"That was awesome," Bowe said. "Just having somebody come off the field and ask for help, it was a great experience. It enabled me to see the game from a different perspective.
"It definitely helped me. I feel like [the injury] gave me an opportunity to do some things that I wouldn't have been able to do if I hadn't gotten hurt."
Bowe said she will be even more motivated to play her best in her final season for the Pioneers.