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NHL Injury Analysis: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Hannah Rawls

Hannah is from St. Petersburg, FL. She graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University. She's a certified athletic trainer and currently works for a NCAA D2 college in Florida. She has worked with NAIA and NCAA football, rugby, and lacrosse and ACHA ice hockey as an athletic trainer.

Trends are ok in fashion (unless it involves Crocs, those are never ok), but when it comes to broken feet, groin strains, and "lower body injuries" it makes fantasy life a little harder than it should be. As an athletic trainer you learn to see a lot of injury trends in different sports. In baseball you see shoulder and elbow injuries, and in football it's mostly the ankle and knee. In hockey, you get a whole slew of injuries; you learn to expect the unexpected. However, this shortened season is proving that theory slightly wrong.

After just seven games back on the ice, Ryan Kesler of Vancouver will be sitting out indefinitely due to a broken foot. Kesler reportedly played in multiple games with this injury, and recorded an assist in one of them. The terrible irony in this situation is that Kesler took his time to return from his offseason shoulder surgery to make sure that nothing went wrong and that he could play at 100 percent.  This time around, to make up for the mistake he made last season in his early return from surgery, I think he overcompensated on time and stayed out for too long. It looks like Kesler will be out for at least a few weeks (a normal person would be out 4-6 weeks, but this is the NHL people), and let's hope he's learned his lesson on time management and can find the perfect time to return. With 5 points in 7 games, his stats show the possibility of him not being as disappointing as he was last season.  If you were waiting to pick him up after seeing how he did in his return I wouldn't bother, he seems to be proving he's extremely injury prone and with this injury setting him back a few weeks he may not be worth keeping on your radar.

Defenseman James Wisniewski (Columbus), who has already dealt with a concussion this season, will also be sitting out with a broken foot for the next 4-6 weeks. Wisniewski has played 15 games for the Blue Jackets this season registering 9 points. As someone who did not draft their blueliners very well this season, let me tell you Wisniewski is someone I wish I hadn't looked over. Since I'm pretty sure that Wisniewski (and Kesler) will be in walking boots instead of casts, muscle atrophy shouldn't be an issue because most rehab exercises can be completed during that time. When he returns to the ice hopefully he can keep his numbers up.

Martin Brodeur of New Jersey will continue his week of rest through (at least) Monday due to lingering pain in his back. Brodeur pulled himself from last Sunday's lineup because of a tweak he felt in his back during warm-ups. Brodeur and the Devils are stating that this isn't a serious injury and he is day-to-day for now. There are so many injury possibilities when it comes to the back that I have no idea where to start the speculations. Without knowing the exact injury, just knowing one thing helps, Brodeur is no longer a young man. Age plays a huge factor in everyday life, Achilles tendons rupture during old man softball every Tuesday night, and backs are thrown out just turning off a light switch. Once you add playing in the NHL for 20 years, and doing splits multiple times a game, a person can really put wear and tear on their body. At the age of 40 (I know in real life that's not very old, calm down people) even at the peak of fitness, athletic injuries (or any injury for that matter) can take longer to heal than a younger person with the same injury. Anticipate Brodeur's return within the next 10-14 days, if not sooner since he's already been out for a week. If this is just a muscle strain, rehab and rest will help him tremendously. Just note that with age comes muscle weakness, and in turn reoccurring injuries. I'm not saying it will happen to Brodeur, I'm just offering a friendly reminder.

The Flyers can't seem to catch a break with injuries on their first line this season. Winger Matt Read was placed on the IR last week due to multiple muscle tears in his rib cage. There are 12 ribs in the human body, and between each of these bones lies a set of muscles known as the intercostal muscles. These muscles are there to, in laymen's terms, help you breathe in and out. The intercostal muscles are obviously important to everyday functions (breathing, side bending, and twisting to name a few) and therefore need time to heal. Read could be out 6 weeks but as always that timetable is dependent on the severity of the injury.  The Flyers will have a hard time replacing him, at this point Read is one of the leaders on the team with 7 goals and 6 assists in 18 games, but hopefully he will be back for their sake and for anyone who is hording him on their rosters.

Within the past few weeks there have now been three incidents where a rogue skate has caused severe damage to a player. Defenseman Zach Redmond of Winnipeg is the most recent one to feel the slash of cold metal. Redmond will be out indefinitely after sustaining a severe laceration (and apparently losing a good amount of blood on the ice) to the back of his leg.  According to the team, Redmond was injured during a drill in front of the net when he was somehow stepped on by a teammate's skate. Redmond was rushed to the hospital where a 3 hour surgery to repair his right femoral artery and vein was conducted. The normal recovery time for an arterial/ vascular repair is 4-6 weeks, however, you never know if the team is leaving any details of this injury out (like a lacerated muscle or tendon). My thought on the situation is if Clint Malarchuk can return to goal two weeks after having his neck slit open and his carotid artery repaired then Redmond can come back pretty quickly too.