There has never been, nor will there ever be, a team that's gone deep in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with a healthy roster. The 82-game schedule is a minefield, and an absolutely unforgiving muddle of potential disasters in the injury-column. It's why, sometimes, we see the most talented squads fall short.
Of course, you don't ever want to use injuries as an excuse. Every team's had to face 4,920-minutes of regulation time (plus extra frames) before the Cup Battle's even begun.
Over this passing weekend, news had gone out about a handful of Flyers players who were striving through their own physical detriments. Kimmo Timonen, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Carle and James van Riemsdyk were the names in this announcement.
Per CSNPhilly.com --
- Veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen will have surgery to remove a disc fragment from his lower back next week. Full recovery is expected in 8-10 weeks.
- James van Riemsdyk will also have surgery next week. JVR has a torn labrum in his right hip. His recovery time is expected to be six weeks.
- Holmgren also announced three Flyers have already started their rehabilitation from injuries.
- All-Star center Claude Giroux had surgery on his right wrist to repair torn cartilage and on his left wrist to remove bone spurs. Recovery time for the 24-year-old is estimated at six weeks.
- Also, Wayne Simmonds had a broken left index finger repaired and Matt Carle had surgery to repair a torn stomach muscle. Recovery time is 4-6 weeks for both players.
Let's tackle these in the order that CSN listed them, but with more detail...
||Timonen will undergo surgery for a disc fragment located in his lower-back. This surgery is more than likely titled a lumbar discectomy, which is the removal of "the fragment of spinal disc that is causing the pressure on the nerve."
This is generally seen in patients with a herniated disc in their spine. In Kimmo's case, he has a fragment (which is remnants of the normal spinal disc) that may be pressing or rubbing against the spinal cord. It is extremely uncomfortable, causing all sorts of pain from constant throbbing, to those sharp, electric pains that seem to flare in an instant like a frag grenade.
The surgery's recovery time is 8 - 10 weeks. No super slides at the waterparks this summer for #44. Maybe just a drink in hand, and floating around the Lazy River.
||The 2011-12 season for James will officially be known as the "It Never Happened" Season. It was most unfortunate for #21.
van Riemsdyk suffered a concussion and then a broken foot which limited our left-winger to playing only 43-games of the regular season. Also, up till now it was rumored he was nursing a hip injury. Put those rumors to bed because it's full blown fact.
JvR has what's called a torn labrum in his right hip, and just in case you failed out of Med School and need reminding, the labrum is the soft muscle tissue that lines the lower hip and houses the north-face of your femur (thigh) bone, sort of like a socket.
James somehow tore this tissue which is fairly common with athletes involved in sports like soccer, football, golf, and hockey. The injury's history teaches the medical field that it mostly happens while the player twists on a weight-bearing hip.
Surgeons have put down the scary scalpels and bones saws, and have reverted to using arthroscopic techniques to repair the torn labrums. Such a procedure involves trimming away inflammation and any loose tissue which could be the injury's source of pain and discomfort.
Recovery is roughly 6-weeks which will be spent strength training the repaired area. Though recovery is 6-weeks, "a return to sports is usually possible between two and three months after the operation". So he'll be good to go by training camp.
||Giroux has already undergone surgery to both of his wrists, and -- like a boss -- returned to his summer shenanigans playing Cornhole (or 'baggo' to you weird folk) while dawning the casts.
In his left wrist, Claude had bone spurs removed. These bone spurs (or as I like to call them, The Devil's Braille) are clinically known as an osteophyte which are "bony projections that form along the joint" in the wrist. Essentially, these are like jagged rocks at the bottom of a cliff, getting beaten by a crushing ocean tide that someone inevitably falls to their death on in a bad movie.
In his right wrist, Claude had torn cartilage that needed repair. If the cartilage wasn't operated on, then Giroux could have experienced "mechanical symptoms" in his playing future.
Recovery time is beer o'clock and 6-weeks. Until then, enjoy your topless backyard activities and the inability to stroke your bishop for awhile.
||Wayne "Train" Simmonds underwent surgery to his left index finger which has been apparently broken for some time now.
Basically this operation was to prevent any growth abnormalities that may follow from a finger trying to repair itself on its own after it had been broken.
After all, Wayne doesn't want to go around looking like he's got a haunted tree-branch growing off his shoulder like Eagles great, Chuck Bednarik.....
Recovery time is 4 - 6 weeks in a splint and handicapped nose-picking.
||Matt Carle's reported "torn muscle" in his stomach may be the most vague injury report of them all.
This could range anywhere from a hernia to strained muscle fibers in his abdomen.
In any case, we use our abdominal muscles in (literally) every move we make. Carle will have to limit his physical activity dramatically over the course of his 4 - 6 week recovery period to give the muscle time to heal properly, and in a fast window of recuperation.
There are three grades of abdominal muscle tears;
- Grade I - is slight discomfort, to the point where an individual could carry on and continue an activity for a short time. The pain may not begin until after the activity has stopped.
- Grade II - describes moderate discomfort, where the individual can no longer continue with activities that involve the abdomen and the abdomen is sore to the touch.
- Grade III - is severe discomfort, where even the normal, day-to-day activities are virtually impossible to do until healing is complete. In grade III, the swelling or cramping usually accompanies the torn muscle pain.
Carle has a very, very busy off-season in front of him. The Philadelphia Flyers are talking about re-signing the 28yr old defenseman, and under market value. But if our organization decides part ways with Matt, then he potentially could be reporting to an entirely different training camp for the first time since the summer of 2007 with the San Jose Sharks.
Nevertheless, there will be no straining to poop, fart or sneeze for the next month, month-and-a-half for #25.
Check out The Pack on Facebook!
You can follow Michael DeNicola on Twitter: @MikeyD_OandBP
Send us your feedback to OrangeAndBlackPack@Gmail.com