David Jensen has been back in the Nebraska wrestling room for less than a month since returning from a case of mononucleosis.
Since he’s returned, the heavyweight has had a perfect 9-0 record, including 3-0 in dual meets.
Jensen said he’s happy with the start to his junior season, but the hurdles he had to jump over to get to where he is now have been higher than he anticipated.
The mono that came on a week before the first meet of the year in Brookings, South Dakota, knocked Jensen out until the North Carolina and North Carolina State duals on Dec. 15-16.
He said it came on gradually, but once the virus was in full force, he was out for the count.
“I was getting sick and it just kept getting worse,” Jensen said. “The whole process was just frustrating and it took so much time. I had to be careful, though, with my spleen.”
Jensen couldn’t breathe through his nose for more than a week, he had issues sleeping and he couldn’t eat anything besides soup and applesauce because his throat was so sore.
“It was just miserable,” Jensen said.
After the swelling of his spleen and tonsils went down, Jensen could slowly get back into the swing of things.
It didn’t take long.
He was sent by the Husker coaching staff to “crush some kids” at the Doane Open in early December.
Jensen did just that, so NU coach Mark Manning decided to take him to North Carolina for Nebraska’s two road duals over UNL’s Christmas break.
The trip paid off.
“He put in a lot of work in the summer and early fall,” Manning said. “I’m talking six or seven months of work. He’s 30 pounds heavier than last March, in a good way. He’s stronger, more powerful. He bounced right back because he did so much ahead of time.”
Jensen will look to keep his perfect record intact at 7 p.m. Saturday at NU’s Tumble N’ Rumble dual against No. 14 Northern Iowa at the Devaney Sports Center.
The Husker women’s gymnastics team will have a dual against No. 8 Washington going on at the same time as the wrestling.
Manning said the environment will be good for the No. 11 Huskers.
“For us, there will be a lot of stuff going on at the Big Tens and the NCAA Tournament,” he said. “So we better get used to it. It kind of gets you ready and gets you focused.”