Ryan Kesler is going to have plenty of time to ponder his fans.
(Photo: Loxy!!/flickr creative commons)
The Canucks announced today that Ryan Kesler has undergone a procedure on his shoulder to repair a torn labrum. If that was an on-going issue for him, then it’s no surprise his production decreased this year. The labrum is the cartilege that connects the head of your arm bone to the inside of your shoulder socket. Without it, your shoulder would blow apart.
It’s an injury that has seriously impeded the careers of several Major League Baseball pitchers. Most have not returned to anything close to their previous success. It’s a very serious injury requiring pretty intense rehab. Kesler will lose a great deal of strength in the process and like any surgery, just won’t be the same as he was before.
Coupled with his hip surgery from last year, what can we expect from Kesler next season? Given the difficulty of recovery from last summer’s surgery, there was plenty of speculation that he probably came back too soon, that he should have waited longer to make his return this season.
"It’s going to be an unending process," he told the Province before the playoffs, perhaps conceding that his injury was bigger than he’d allowed himself to acknowledge.
For hockey players, it’s not an unheard of injury. Zdeno Chara underwent a similar procedure in 2008 and look how well he’s played since. He won the Norris Trophy the next season. The key, obviously, is taking care of business and making sure you are 100 per cent comfortable with coming back.
Any surgery changes the way your body works. You’ll probably get close to what you were before, but you just won’t be exactly the same. The mark of the great athlete is the ability to adapt yourself successfully to changing circumstances. We are going to see if this is the case with Ryan Kesler.