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Capital comeback: Hillen assigned to AHL Hershey after major leg break

Feb 25, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT

hillenhelpedoffgetty Getty Images

Jack Hillen has made a big step in his recovery from a right tibial plateau fracture, as he’s been assigned to Washington’s AHL affiliate in Hershey on a conditioning stint.

Hillen, 28, suffered the fracture on Oct. 3 in Washington’s home-opener against Calgary and has missed the last 57 games as a result. The damage was fairly significant — Hillen underwent surgery where doctors put a stabilizing plate and five screws in his knee, and he was unable to put weight on his right leg for three months.

“They want to be safe because if the knee moves or something doesn’t heal right, it can be a lot of long-term damage to it,” Hillen told NBC Washington at the time. “I wish it were lower on the leg and not the knee because then you can start [to] do some other stuff, but you don’t want the plates and the screws to move and other things.

“It’s tough.”

A former standout with Colorado College, Hillen had nine points in 23 games with the Capitals last season, his first in Washington after spending time with the Islanders and Predators.

  1. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Glad to see him back on the ice. Hope his recovery brings him back to 100%.

    Any injury like this could have ended his career.

  2. thesportsjudge - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    I wonder if the title can be fixed?

  3. jpelle82 - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    should be a calming stabilizing presence for them back there. i said at the beginning of the year, losing him again was a big loss. if the caps can turn it around and make a push, having him healthy will make a difference. in a related note, someone should do an investigative report on how many broken legs we have seen this year, i can count 6-7 right off the top of my head, seems like an unusually large number to me, compressed schedule a factor? stamkos, martin, kelly, hillen, robidas, dorsett, sobotka…i’m sure there are more im missing…and if we count ankles then i can think of another 3…filpulla, scuderi, koivu…is it just me or is that a lot of broken legs?

  4. fivetozeroingame7 - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    It’s a shame for such an inspirational guy to be forced to play for such a dogcrap organization

    • kyzslew77 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      I agree, it all starts with their terrible captain, who was probably secretly glad Hillen got injured because he’s a terrible selfish captain.

    • 1cupin70years - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Pretty insightful stuff there. Rags won the Cup after that Game 7 right? Way to cling to glory.

  5. kyzslew77 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Check out Selfishvechkin in the picture up there, being a terrible captain. Probably just thinking about taking more selfish shots to score more selfish goals as he pretends to care about his teammate. Selfish selfish selfish. If he were Canadian, maybe then he’d know what it means to be a captain, but it’s obvious from that picture that he’s a terrible captain. Selfish.

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