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BOSTON -- Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said Tuesday he might need surgery to repair a dislocated pinkie finger on his left hand.
He suffered the injury Nov. 20 in Buffalo and decided to forgo a procedure at that time in order to continue playing. He will be examined by the team's hand specialist, Dr. Matthew Leibman, later this week. He said that when he puts his hand out, he can't straighten his finger, which would occasionally pop out of place while he was playing and the trainers would have to pop it back in.
Chara said it did not have an effect on his play, especially in the playoffs. After the injury, he wore a cast for seven to eight weeks on both his pinkie and ring fingers, but he didn't feel comfortable with it, so it was removed and he began taping it. He was limited with his bottom hand, but said he got used to playing with it.There was talk of him having surgery at the time of the injury, but he wanted to avoid it at all costs.
"You try to make it work without the surgery and find the best possible way to avoid it," Chara said. "I need to consult with [the doctor] and maybe he'll have different options or advice how to make it better, then this is the time we can execute those plans. During the season there's not much you can do because you play and practice every day."
Due to the injury, Chara said he was unable to engage in fisticuffs, especially when he was wearing the cast because it would have meant an automatic suspension. Even after he had the cast removed, it was tough to get into a scrum.
"It was really impossible," he said.
But he did manage to fight Mike Rupp in a March 18 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.