Luca Urlando Dislocates Shoulder in Workout, Will Take ‘Couple of Months’ to Recover

Luca Urlando announced he dislocated his shoulder during a swim workout last Saturday. He said his recovery will take a couple of months but hopes to return in time for the Olympic Trials. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

17-year-old Californian Luca Urlando announced late Monday night in an Instagram post that he dislocated his left shoulder during a swim workout last Saturday. He wrote:

“Not the way I was hoping to start an Olympic year, but I dislocated my left shoulder during a swim workout last Saturday. Recovery will take a couple of months, but with the resources available to me in Colorado Springs I am optimistic that I will be able to reach my goal of swimming well at Olympic trials. I appreciate all the support as I focus to getting back in the pool competitively.”

Luca Urlando was the top 200 butterflyer in the United States in 2019 with his 1:53 at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Clovis as he broke the 17-18 national age group record held by Michael Phelps. Urlando was a popular pick by many to make the 2020 Olympic Team in the 200 butterfly as the rising star was third in the world in 2019 in the 200 fly behind the Hungarian duo of Kristof Milak and Tamas Kenderesi. He also has an outside shot to make the Olympic team in the 4×200 free relay, barring a full recovery from the shoulder injury, with a 1:46.51 best time.

He won five gold medals at the World Junior Swimming Championships in August this year with individual wins in the 200 free (1:46.97) and 200 fly (1:55.02). He also swam on both men’s free relays as well as the mixed free relay.

Luca Urlando will be a freshman at the University of Georgia in the fall of 2020. He currently swims for Billy Doughty at DART Swimming in California.

There have been some notable pre-Olympic Trials injuries for American swimmers in the past. Katie McLaughlin sustained a neck injury around this time in 2016 while on training trip at Cal. She still managed to make the final in the 200 free and 200 fly but did not make the Olympic team. Sprinter Ben Wildman-Tobriner tore a pectoral muscle in December 2007 but still managed to make the team in the 50 free at the 2008 Trials.

Swimming World reached out to Urlando for comment on his recovery but he respectfully declined further comment at this time.


  1. avatar
    His friend

    Why are you saying it in past tense, he still HAS a shot not HAD

    • avatar

      It says he “was” the top in the 2 fly, he still is….

      • avatar
        Andy Ross

        He WAS the top 200 flyer in 2019. It is now 2020.

    • avatar
      Andy Ross

      The change has been made. He has a shot as long as he makes a full recovery from this injury. Wishing him all the best.