Tues., Jan. 27
Wow, knee surgery has certainly come a long way in terms of rehabilitation time. Having gone through this myself in 1989, I know how much work it takes and how frustrating it can be to get back to playing at the NHL level. It took me six months to get back on the ice, and even then I suffered several setbacks that ultimately ended my career.
However, Dany Heatley's quick of a turnaround is not unprecedented. Colorado Avalanche head coach Tony Granato had his torn ACL replaced by one from a cadaver on Jan. 11, 1999, and returned three months later, and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios returned in just under four months during the 2000-01 season.
On the ice, I had one problem in my return: When there was traffic in front of my crease, I thought too much, worrying about someone making contact with me, and it took away from my ability to play instinctively. That's the one thing that could hinder Heatley. He is an instinctive player who likes to go to the net, and if he thinks too much about contact or his knee, it will affect his game.
That being said, after spending so many grueling hours in the gym, Heatley is in great shape. Now, getting on the ice and being back with his teammates is the best place for him.