A month and a half ago, University of Utah star gymnast Grace McCallum suffered a “devastating” injury, hyperextending her right knee while competing on vault at the Metroplex Challenge.

Since then, the Olympic silver medalist has sat out five consecutive meets, worn a significant brace on her injured knee and often looked like a gymnast whose season was over.

Los Angeles Regional

Semifinal One

No. 5 Utah, No. 12 Auburn, No. 21 Southern Utah and Washington

Liftoff: Thursday, 3 p.m. MDT

Venue: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles (12,829 capacity)


That still may end up being the case, as the women’s college gymnastics season is rapidly coming to a close, with only NCAA regionals and the NCAA gymnastics championships remaining.

But there is more of a chance than ever that McCallum will compete for Utah again this year.

Following the Pac-12 championships, Utah head coach Tom Farden told the media that McCallum has been training on the uneven bars and doing well. Great even.

“She is doing fantastic,” Farden said.

A week ago, McCallum was seen by the Deseret News ahead of Utah gymnastics’ practice sporting a compression sleeve on her injured knee, rather than the usual bulky or inflexible brace that had been the norm following her injury.

And to top things off, earlier this week, in a question-and-answer session with fans on Instagram, McCallum expressed optimism about her recovery and a hope for a return to competition.

Screenshot of Grace McCallum’s Instagram story during a Q&A with fans. | Grace McCallum Instagram

“My knee is doing so much better,” McCallum wrote. “Making good progress each day. Taking it one step at a time and not rushing the recovery process. ... I’ll be back whenever my knee is ready. But hopefully that is soon.”

McCallum also provided a glimpse into what it has been like to be on the sideline and watch her teammates continue to compete.

“It’s made me really appreciate being able to compete,” McCallum wrote. “I love watching my teammates but I love being out there just as much. So don’t take anything for granted because it can be gone in a second. Enjoy every moment you get out there.”

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If McCallum does return to competition this postseason — most likely on bars — she will be a boon to a Red Rocks team that is currently No. 5 in the country.

Utah will compete Thursday in Los Angeles in the NCAA regional semifinals against No. 12 Auburn, No. 21 Southern Utah and Washington.

Earn a top-two finish in the meet and the Utes will advance to the regional final on Saturday night. A top-two finish there and Utah will advance to nationals for a record 47th straight time.

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Whether or not McCallum returns to action this season, her future remains of interest.

Part of the four-woman U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympics that won the silver medal, McCallum hasn’t ruled out a return to elite gymnastics ahead of the Paris Olympics in 2024.

In late February, in an interview with Inside Gymnastics, McCallum left the door open for an Olympic future.

“Right now I’m just kind of enjoying college, but I have thought about going back to elite,” McCallum said. “I really love watching them (UCLA’s Jordan Chiles, Oregon State’s Jade Carey and Florida’s Leanne Wong) and they are doing amazing. Kudos to them for doing both (NCAA gymnastics and elite).

“For me personally, right now, I just want to make sure I make the right decision. I don’t want to go back for the wrong reasons. I don’t want to go back just because I feel like I have to. I want to go back because I truly want to and I want to see what I can achieve there. So it is not out of the question, that is for sure. And I’d love to go back, but we’ll see.”

In her Q&A this week, McCallum addressed her offseason plans and notably she intends to train in Utah after the conclusion of the NCAA season.

“Hoping to travel a bit over the summer, but also train out here in Utah,” McCallum wrote. “Along with taking some summer classes.”

McCallum’s plan is a bit of a departure from that of some of her Olympic teammates.

Both Auburn’s Sunisa Lee and Chiles have announced that they will not be training for or competing at the NCAA level next season, instead focusing solely on the Paris Games.

(Lee’s collegiate career is over, while Chiles hasn’t closed the door on a return to UCLA after the Olympics.)

Carey, meanwhile, expects to be around Oregon State next season, though she isn’t quite sure in what capacity just yet.

“Next year is definitely a big year and right now, we’re just kind of focused on finishing out this college season and then we’re going to evaluate and take it day by day on what my exact plan is going to be,” Carey told NBC’s On Her Turf.

“I am pretty confident that I’m, at least, going to be around here (Oregon State), but what that looks like will probably be a little different than the past two years, but again we’re probably just going to take it day by day and see what happens.”