May 3, 2012, 11:59 PM EST
It’s been rumored for a while that Ilya Kovalchuk was battling an injury and that was essentially confirmed when it was revealed that he would miss Game 2 of the New Jersey Devils’ second round series. However, even then, the full extent of his problem was not made clear.
Now it is: Kovalchuk started experiencing pain in his back during the first round and missed Game 2 because of a herniated disc. However, he was able to return on Thursday and went on to record a goal and two assists in New Jersey’s 4-3 overtime win over Philadelphia.
“We have great trainers and we have good doctors here, so they did a great job,” Kovalchuk said. “I think it was the right thing to do to sit a couple days. I got four days rest and I did the stuff I was supposed to do and I feel much better.”
Although at one point he was insisting that he was fine, Kovalchuk now admits that it was fairly obvious that something was wrong.
“I think everybody saw that I couldn’t skate the way I used to,” Kovalchuk said.
Even then, the decision to take some time off to get better was a tough one.
“You want to play,” he said. “But when something bothers you it’s better to sit a couple days, regroup, have the doctors do their thing, feel better and play better.”
His decision certainly seems to have paid off.
- Video: Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Smith 19
- Time to start winning — Bruins’ next four games are against non-playoff teams 17
- Burgled: Sens’ Hammond shuts out Kings 14
- Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too) 41
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 66
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 29
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 17
- What’s up with the reports of problems in the Blackhawks’ room? 40
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight 82
- Lombardi happy to get ‘one of the better defenseman on the market’ in Sekera 3
- Leafs’ Rielly apologizes for insensitive remarks (86)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Chiarelli understands scrutiny on GM and coach, but says, ‘It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year’ (69)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (67)