Hockey injury updates

Update: For all of you who are checking out Behind the Jersey for the first time after clicking on the link from Paul Kukla’s blog at NHL.com, welcome! The post that Paul linked to is below all of this welcome stuff.

I encourage you to check out some of the features that BtJ offers including Behind the Blog (interviews with fellow hockey bloggers), Behind the Jersey (articles about Wings players), and various interviews I have conducted over the years. You can also read various feature articles that I have written in regards to the Red Wings.

Behind the Jersey is a Red Wings blog first and foremost so you’ll see game recaps, commentaries on signings/injuries, and anything else that might come up regarding the Wings. I also try to talk about some of the bigger stories circulating around the NHL including various hockey injuries, major signings, and big games.

Since I attend the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), you can usually find some comments on U of M football, hockey, and sometimes soccer games here. I’m obviously biased so you’ll want to skip those posts if you’re an OSU, MSU, or Notre Dame fan. I also like to post some pictures and cover the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) when I can make it to a game. If you’ve never attended a minor league hockey game, check one out because they’re affordable and a lot of fun.

Since I love sports, I’ll post about NFL football, track and field, cycling, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball – pretty much anything that I feel like talking about.

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I love talking about hockey and sport injuries so I decided to make a post completely dedicated to how hockey players were coming along with their injuries. If your favorite team has an injured player, please pass their name along to me and I will most likely write something about it here.

Dwayne Roloson
Roloson injured his knee and elbow during the first game of the SCF this past spring. He faced his first test out on the ice this week when Jarret Stoll accidentally knocked him over during a scrimmage.

“I think all the mental issues are gone. … getting back up (after the collision with Stoll) put me over the hump.

“I’m not worried. There may be some tweaking here and there … doctors told me that might happen for at least a year. But as long as the pain goes away, we’re good to go.”

“I couldn’t do anything until the scar tissue healed, but a lot of credit should go to Dr. (Dave) Magee here after the injury, who pushed hard at the start to get us going on the right path,” said Roloson, who did a lot of rehab and had physio back at his summer home in Simcoe, Ont., this off-season.

Roloson took the past three months to rehabilitate his knee and he says it is now healed. The team will closely watch his progress during training camp, but I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to play at the start of the season although I don’t think he’ll start every night.

Peter Forsberg
On May 15, Forsberg had an ankle surgery that consisted of (1) breaking his ankle, (2) realigning the ankle, and (3) repairing his ankle tendons. He was supposed to return in January, when he thought they would be performing the same operation on both ankles in the offseason. However, he only had to have his right ankle operated on allowing him to return in time for the season opener.

“That was fun,” Forsberg said when he finally did come off the ice. “It’s hard to tell how [his ankle] really feels, it’s the first time out there. But it’s much earlier than I expected to be back so it feels great to be back on the ice.”

“At first I was going to do both [ankles] and it was going to take a long, long time,” Forsberg said. “Now going from missing half the year to right now and maybe being ready the beginning of camp, it’s a great feeling.”

Henrik Zetterberg
Earlier this summer, Hank left his summer home in Sweden to check up with the Detroit doctors regarding his sore wrist. He was given a cortisone injection and after a little bit of rest, Hank is feeling better than he has in three years. I’m sure that all the Wings fans will agree with me that this is excellent news, maybe we’ll get even more offense out of him.

“The wrist hasn’t felt this good in a long time,” said Zetterberg after an informal workout Wednesday with some Wings. “It feels even better than it did before.”

Zetterberg said the injury has been bothering him for 3 years. He said it bothered him during the Calgary playoff series in 2004, and then throughout the NHL lockout season, which Zetterberg spent playing in Sweden.

“I just hope it stays like it is right now,” Zetterberg said. “It feels a lot better. Since the first practice (in mid-August) I don’t feel anything, so the doctor did a good job.”

Jiri Fischer
Most Wings fans can remember the horrible night, November 21st, when defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed at the bench during a game against the Nashville Predators. They still aren’t sure as to exactly what caused the collapse during the game althought it had something to do with his heart. Fischer will NOT be at training camp this year and the team is expected to place him on injured reserved to alleviate some space in the salary cap. He is still undergoing tests in an attempt to return to the NHL.

“He continues to see doctors, gather information,” Holland said. “He’d love to play hockey, but there’s other things more important.”

Fischer will be paid for the final year of his contract, but Holland does not expect his $1.44 million salary to count against the salary cap.

“My understanding is we will get cap relief, but we need it to be official,” Holland said.

Alexei Zhamnov
Expect Zhamnov to retire after he fails his medical exam due to a bad ankle during the Boston Bruins training camp according to GM Peter Chiarelli. The team must pay the rest of his salary, but it will not count against the cap.

“Sometimes he can barely walk,” said Chiarelli. Zhamnov, who had 1 goal and 10 points in 24 games before shattering the ankle, will be categorized a “long-term injury exception,” as provided by the CBA, and his remaining salary (two years/$8.2 million) will be excluded from the cap.

Wayne Primeau
The Bruins’ veteran center Primeau is feeling better after an arthroscopic hip surgery back in May to correct an injury that has been bothering him since the late 1990s. He has been participating in informal workouts and should participate to some extent in training camp when veterans are required to report by September 14th.

“It’s not that big of an operation — just two little incisions at the side of the hip — and then it’s about 6-8 months to make a full recovery. I’m better. I’m a lot better. But I think, like a lot of surgeries, it probably will be a full year before it’s totally better.”

Mark Stuart
Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart had to have knee surgery during the offseason and is expected to return sometime in October. He went to Massachusetts General Hospital to be examined by the team doctors.

“He’s a large-bodied kid with a great work ethic,” said Chiarelli. “Based on how hard he works, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was back ahead of schedule.”

Owen Nolan
34-year-old forward Owen Nolan will be returning to the ice this year after a knee injury and consequent surgery caused him to miss all of last season. He signed a one year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes and their GM Michael Barnett is reporting that the injury is healed and Nolan is ready to go.

“He’s fit, focused and anxious to get back battling on NHL ice,” he said.

Jordan Leopold
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jordan Leopold could be out until mid-October due to a hernia operation on August 8th.

“The original prognosis was he wouldn’t be starting until November,” Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s come along really well. He’s excited and he wants to get on the ice now, but, certainly, we have to show some patience with him.”

Richard Matvichuk
It is looking like the New Jersey Devils defenseman Richard Matvichuk will not be ready for the season opener and may not even return until December. On June 9th, Matvichuk had a back operation where surgeons removed part of a disc in his lower spine. He has yet to obtain clearance to start weight training. It is expected that the Devils will place him on the injured reserved list allowing his $1.3 million salary to not count against the salary cap.

“You have to be logical and start with skating before [considering] playing hockey,” Matvichuk said yesterday at Codey Arena, where some teammates have begun unofficial workouts. Matvichuk is not yet close to taking the ice.

Tomas Vokoun
At the end of July, Predators goaltender Vokoun received medical clearance to return to hockey after blood clots kept him out of the playoffs. He will play at training camp and actually just signed a four year extension worth $22.8 million.

“They took care of me as a person, too, when I needed them most when I was sick. I’m really happy I’m staying here,” Vokoun said.

Keith Primeau
Flyers center Primeau is doing his best to be as healthy as possible come training camp time, but it is still unknown to what extent he’ll be able to play at all this year. Primeau is reportedly going to announce his retirement sometime this week.

“There’s really nothing new to report. I’m trying to put myself in a position to be in the best possible shape I can be for camp. I’m trying to become or maintain being symptom free as best I can, and then evaluate it when we get to camp. That means evaluating it with one, my family, two, the team and three, the doctors. They are giving me the room and freedom to do that. I know that [training camp] is fast approaching and there are a lot of difficult decisions to be made in the next couple of weeks.”

Frantisek Kaberle
Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Kaberle underwent shoulder surgery this morning (Sept. 11th) in Chicago and will be out anywhere from four to six months.

“The shoulder’s worn down over time,” Rutherford said. “We had hoped that he could rehab it and strengthen it, but that did not happen.”

Rutherford said Kaberle told team doctors about a month ago that he had begun feeling better, but “that didn’t turn out OK.”

Cory Stillman
Another Hurricanes player is out with a shoulder injury. Forward Stillman had his operation on August 18th in Raleigh to fix the instability in his right shoulder and could miss half of the season if not more due to the time needed for rehabilitation.

“We had hoped … that rehab was going to strengthen it and he was going to be fine,” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. “Over the last week to two weeks, [team orthopedist Doug Martini] and Cory started to talk and realized it may have to be fixed. There was no way around it.”

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