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Sens GM Murray: Karlsson’s ‘100 percent’

Apr 19, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT

erikkarlssoninjuryap AP

Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson continued his remarkable recovery from a sliced Achilles tendon on Friday, getting cleared for contact and fully practicing with teammates for the first time since the injury.

What’s more, his return to game action sounds closer than ever.

Sens GM Bryan Murray said Karlsson is ‘100 percent’ and his return is contingent upon getting back into game shape.

The 22-year-old blueliner has been out of action since his left Achilles was sliced by Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke on Feb. 14.

The cut resulted in a 70 percent laceration, an injury that required immediate surgery and prematurely ended Karlsson’s campaign.

Or so it was said at the time.

To give you an idea of how Karlsson looked in his first full practice, here’s Sportsnet’s Shannon Proudfoot from today’s practice:

The Senators play Saturday at home against Toronto, and it’s doubtful Karlsson will be made available given he hasn’t played a game in over two months.

Monday, though, could be another story.

Ottawa will host Pittsburgh that night — you know, Cooke’s team — in what would be a dramatic return for the reigning Norris Trophy winner.

  1. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Kudos to the young man – sounds like the kid worked his tail off to get back into shape. Excited to see him get back on the ice.

    With that said could you IMAGINE the atmosphere if he comes back next Monday against the Pens in Ottawa …. Wow.

    • travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      You can work all you want, if your tendon isn’t attached it doesn’t matter. He must have some Wolverine type healing abilities because this doesn’t even make sense. Crazy.

    • joelwrobinson - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      how does ‘work’ heal a tendon?

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        The ‘work’ doesn’t heal the tendon of course.

        However, you’re an idiot if you think that he was just sitting on his butt waiting for his tendon to heal, and then decided to just lace up skates and get to practice. Stretching, strengthening, and other rehab is required to even begin moving your foot after an injury like this – let alone have enough strength in an around the ankle to support pushing, turning, stopping, etc. at the level that it sounds like he is able to now.

        So you’re either an idiot, or just decided to cherry pick semantics.

      • travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Huh? The point is you can’t do that stuff until the tendon is fully fused together. I don’t think he was stretching and strengthening a week after surgery.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        travishenryskid – you’re right, he wasn’t doing that a week after surgery. I never said he did.

        But to my point, even once the Achilles is healed you can’t just get out there and skate. Odds are that it was ‘healed’ a few weeks ago or a month ago, and what has gone on since has been some serious rehab. If you’re foot has been held at the same angle without movement for a couple of months you’ll have muscle tightness and atrophy that don’t just disappear when the tendon is healed. Hence the work to get back on the ice and skating so well so quickly.

        This doesn’t take a doctorate in physiology to understand here fellas.

  2. rippit2000 - Apr 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Good – now maybe they can stop whining about Cooke “intentionally” injuring him.

  3. President Charles Logan - Apr 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Wont matter if he is back for the playoffs, Ottawa arent going far .

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      I totally disagree. The Sens have overcome so much this season, and that type of perseverance can propel you in the playoffs. I’ve said this before on here, but I believe Ottawa could be a darkhorse candidate out of the East. Great goaltending can carry you in the postseason and the Sens have two excellent netminders. Craig Anderson (and/or Robin Lehner) will be the key. They don’t score a ton, but you just need timely scoring when it comes to making a run. So don’t underestimate the likes of Alfredsson, Gonchar, Conacher, Turris, Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Michalek, and now a healthy Karlsson. Most of those names don’t jump out at you but they all have the ability to put the puck in the net. I won’t be surprised if they win a round or two. Nobody picked the Kings last season.

      • President Charles Logan - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        why are your comments so long winded and drawn out? you”d think you invented hockey or something with your replies lol

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        Because I like to talk hockey. I’m a fan. Didn’t think it was a crime, especially since we’re all here on ProHockeyTalk. And I don’t claim to know more than you or anyone else here. Why do you feel the need to post so many dissenting comments?

  4. travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    How is that even possible? When I tore my Achilles at the age of 24, I wasn’t even out of the cast for 3 months let alone anywhere near done with rehab. This is insane.

    • mehetmet - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      you aren’t a super-athlete with the best medical staffs in the continent working with you day in and day out. These guys are machines, it’s hard to understand, but they are. This is everything they do, not a hobby or even a job.

      its everything

      • bmscalise - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        O don’t care what shape your are in. You cannot will a bone or tendon to heal.

    • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      DEER ANTLER SPRAY. BOOM.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Did you have a full Achilles tear? Karlsson’s was only 70% which SIGNIFICANTLY improves and speeds the healing process. It’s sort of like having a hairline fracture vs. a compound fracture. They are both “fractures” but one is extremely more severe and the healing time will reflect that.

      • travishenryskid - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Yes. I was so confounded by his recovery that I did a little google research. Apparently they’ve made some serious advances in treatment very recently. Recovery times are much faster than they were just a few years ago. Science.

  5. bmscalise - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I really hope the best for Karlsson – but this continues to strike me as extraordinarily sketchy. You can’t will an Achilles to heal, and this is months – months! – shorter than the expected duration. I have wonder if Ottawa is more concerned about selling tickets than doing what is best for Karlsson.

    • sens101 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      I dont think Murray would rush him back to play at this stage in his career. The guy is not a complete moron. We all want karlsson back, but not at the cost of sacrificing his career. If Murray says he 100% then I believe him. Why wouldnt they rush Spezza back if they wanted to sell tickets? Coming from a walk-up Sens fan who buys tickets to about 10 games a year, I would buy tickets regardless of whether or not he was in the line-up as I did for the Canes game on tuesday.

  6. scoops1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    when in doubt…spray some antler spray on it

  7. shortsxit34 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I am *not* throwing out allegations against Karlsson or and players in the NHL. I repeat, I am *not* making any allegations.

    *Supposedly*, PEDs are a lot more prevalent among hockey players than most people realize. They say this goes on in any high level of play from maybe Major Midget on up.

    Anyway, the point being that hockey players would be using PEDs more for their maintenance and healing properties, rather than to add muscle mass as that wouldn’t benefit hockey players as much as athletes from other sports.

    So, again, *supposedly*, this is part of the reason we see so many hockey players coming back from insane injuries months ahead of schedule.

    I guess I’ll uselessly state it again although it’ll do no good and people will thumb down this comment, claim I’m lying or have no proof, or otherwise just generally troll this comment.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      When you are defining PEDs so vaguely as “improved body maintenance and healing” then you probably have more gray area in terms of what is okay to use than you would black and white area.

      Karlsson, IF he would even use anything for healing, would probably use something like Toradol. And a ton of athletes use this so I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at all if he did. It’s common. The athletes on your favorite team in any sport more likely than not have used it at one point or another, too. It doesn’t give him any physical edge on what he already has because it’s nothing more than a really strong ibuprofen. Pain is a completely psychological idea. The only thing Toradol is doing is suppressing some of the chemicals in your brain that tell your brain there is inflammation. Like I said before, ibuprofen does the same EXACT thing but it’s just on a smaller scale. It’s not building up muscle around the injured area that wouldn’t normally be there or anything like that. Toradol is not addictive, it is not a narcotic, and not dangerous at all when being issued by a doctor who knows what he’s doing. Yet, many people consider it a PED.

      And this is where you get into the gray area. If Toradol is a PED, well than so is ibuprofen and aspirin. They are literally in the same exact family of drugs (called NSAIDs) and do the same exact thing: suppress the chemical makeup that causes you to feel inflammation. It isn’t even putting any new substances into your body, they are just naturally blocking the messengers in the pain transmission process. They give it to girls with bad period cramps and people with migraines. I guess Excedrin and Midol are PEDs now, too? It is not a bad drug. I can’t make any promises if you aren’t taking it under the supervision of a doctor, but every single thing going in and out of a hockey player’s body, especially one of Karlsson’s abilities, is probably extensively documented and monitored after they suffer a major injury.

      They aren’t going to give Karlsson anything dangerous that is gonna cut his career short. They apparently aren’t getting Spezza back, and I feel as though the hockey world is genuinely impressed with what Ottawa has accomplished this year given their never ending injury troubles. If Ottawa gets in as the 6th seed, MacLean is the man to beat for the Jack Adams. They’re gonna be serious Cup contenders next year with a healthy Karlsson, Spezza, and Anderson. No reason to rush Karlsson back to get reinjured.

      PEDs are like carbs. People have this thought process that carbs are bad and the enemy and they will cause you to get fat and die of diabetes and heart disease. That’s not true. When consumed correctly, carbs will make you really healthy and give you a lot of useful energy. PEDs have this connotation as being terrible for you and ruining sports. In reality, a lot of PEDs are being issued correctly after injuries or when an athlete isn’t feeling well by doctors and are what is keeping the best athletes healthy and in the best shape possible performing at their top level. When abused they are going to ruin the athlete, but when taken correctly they can be good for you.

      • kyzslew77 - Apr 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        If any comment in internet history has ever deserved tl;dr, it’s this one

      • pone27 - Apr 19, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        If people actually took the time to read that, it maybe something that would actually educate you.

  8. myroncopesflask - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    So will he play VS the Pens next week? Pretty sure the Pens called up Stevie Mac for that game but they did not want to make it too obvious.

    • President Charles Logan - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      not sure why they need macintyre for the sens it’s not like they are that physical or tough

    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Doubtful – my guess is that there’ll be too much on the line for that kind of retribution.

      Don’t get me wrong, Matt Cooke will have to fight off of his first draw no question, and will likely be a marked man throughout the game, but I wouldn’t expect this to turn into some sort of Pens-NYI type affair.

      • rippit2000 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        One good thing – if it does, the Pens sure as hell have the horses available to handle it.

  9. pensfan1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Read it from the experts:

    “Tendons are very slow to heal if injured. Partial tears heal by the rapid production of disorganized type-III collagen, which is weaker than normal tendon. Recurrence of injury in the damaged region of tendon is common.
    There are a variety of treatment options, but more research is necessary to determine their effectiveness. Initial recovery is usually within 2 to 3 months, and full recovery usually within 3 to 6 months. About 80% of patients will fully recover within 12 months.”

    Either this was a superhuman effort by vastly superior doctors/therapists or the injury was not as severe as the original Ottawa CSI reported. I agree that he may well be 100% before the typical 12 months but not at just a few weeks. A quick return to the ice may have some short term team benefits or they risk a longer term medical issue with the player.

  10. letsgopens8771 - Apr 19, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    So I guess we have to postpone CSI: Ottawa. Or is it still going on? Maybe Murray and Melnyk just gave up on it.

  11. csilojohnson - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Bottom line is he can afford the good sh t. Be it drugs or medical.procedures. He has a semi personal team of doctors who’s sole propose is to keep him on the ice. I don’t think many of us anywhere near the type of medical attention he gets. Plus he doesn’t have to wait in the ER lobby for an eternity.

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