Karch Kiraly, beach volleyball's career leader in victories, said Tuesday that he would continue playing despite aggravating his surgically repaired shoulder during the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Nissan Series opener Saturday at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kiraly, 44, took an awkward swing during a third-round match and said he felt a "bone-on-bone grind" in his right shoulder, on which he had surgery for the third time in September.
Kiraly, who has 147 career victories, feared the worst. He told partner Mike Lambert to start looking for another partner and then told reporters in Florida that he might have played his last match.
But after consulting with his doctor Monday, Kiraly changed his mind.
"I was thinking that I had done something serious and permanent," he said. "But I would definitely say, based on these preliminary findings, that that definitely was not my last tournament. If I had done something more lasting and permanent, then my shoulder would have been progressively worse on Sunday and Monday instead of much better as it felt the last two days."
Kiraly had an MRI exam Monday but will not know the results until today. He said he and Lambert, the AVP most valuable player last season, would then discuss their options.
"I would still strongly advise him to look around to check out other partner options," Kiraly said. "He is the best player on the tour, and he should be winning most of the tournaments. He deserves a guy who he can depend on physically, and right now he can depend on every part of me except my shoulder."
If Lambert decides to go with another partner, Kiraly said he would take a few weeks off. If not, the two would play together at the next event, April 22-24 at Tempe, Ariz.
Lambert was in Florida and said he would not be able to discuss the matter with Kiraly until he returns home to Southern California today.