- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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PHILADELPHIA –- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has never played hockey, but he knows exactly what Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is going through.
Thomas underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, the Bruins announced Saturday. Lowell had a similar procedure done on his right hip in the offseason prior to the 2009 season. Dr. Bryan Kelly from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City worked on both Lowell and Thomas.
Lowell’s procedure was a little more invasive than the normal hip surgery because of cartilage damage. His rehab was a long and arduous process. Thomas’ expected time of recovery is three to four months. Lowell believes given the nature of Thomas’ position, his rehab will be different from what Lowell went through.
“I think it could be very difficult because a goalie is going down on their hips all the time, so I've got to believe it’s a little more stressful situation,” said Lowell. “I’ve never played hockey and I can barely ice skate, so I don’t know how hard it’s going to be.
“I think you can recover from the surgery pretty well, but what Dr. Kelly told me the most important thing was, after he goes in and cleans out the area, how much cartilage damage there is,” added Lowell. “There are guys, like [the Phillies’] Chase Utley was a very good example, his cartilage was in tact and it was just a labrum issue, so he would recover really fast.
“Other people who are older and have their cartilage beaten down, the labrum issue is taken care of, but you still might have a grind because the shock absorbers of your cartilage might have worn out, so there might still be discomfort.”
Lowell knows each case is different, but he is certain Thomas will be under the best care possible.
“I’ve been very pleased with Dr. Kelly and the way he prepared me for what was going to happen post-surgery,” said Lowell. “I felt like I was very well informed before I went through the whole process.”
Lowell stays in touch with Kelly through texts and emails, and the doctor still gives the veteran third baseman tips to stay healthy.
“He’s on top of things and that’s what makes him so good,” Lowell said.
14dJoe McDonald and Kyle Brasseur