Erik Karlsson should have full recovery from cut Achilles: Kinetics prof

Star defenceman Erik Karlsson’s career will likely still thrive, despite his season being cut short, says a sports expert.

Karlsson’s left Achilles tendon was lacerated by Pittsburgh Penguins’ winger Matt Cooke’s skate Wednesday night.

Recovery is expected to take three to four months following Karlsson’s Thursday morning surgery in Ottawa.

“I don’t think it’s a complicated injury,” said University of Ottawa human kinetics professor Blaine Hoshizaki.

“He should have a full recovery, which is a good thing.”

Ruptured Achilles tendons are less common in hockey, “’cause you don’t get that real hard landing on the balls of the feet,” Hoshizaki said, noting the injury occurs frequently in gymnastics and occasionally in basketball.

“You hear it snap. It’s very dramatic but honestly, it doesn’t hurt a lot, but you know something’s wrong right away,” he said.

Replays show Karlsson immediately collapsing.

Fortunately, “it’s relatively easy to fix. They just go in and sew it up,” he said.

The Sens are already playing without centre Jason Spezza, who underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disk, and left wing Milan Michalek, out for now with a twisted knee.

Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters Thursday he can’t recall a team of his ever being so injury-plagued.

“It’s abnormal,” Murray said.

The condensed season puts players at a slightly higher risk of getting banged up “because the game requires such high amount of skill. It’s so fast,” said Hoshizaki, who served on the NHL Advisory Panel for the reduction of injuries.

At the beginning of the season, “the structure of the game was so disjointed that it was very unpredictable, so guys, they were running into their own players. I mean, it was kind of hard to watch for a while,” said Hoshizaki.

“Now, it’s a lot better.”

When it comes to protective gear, some players aren’t fond of cut-resistant socks, which they find bulky.

“It changes dramatically. You lose a fair amount of skill,” said Murray.

Surprisingly, “we do not have a lot of severe cuts in hockey, so it’s not really a high-risk injury,” Hoshizaki said.

“Even though, in this case, it really is unfortunate to lose a really top-notch hockey player, it’s not common, so to kind of institute a requirement to wear cut-proof garments in probably a bit aggressive.”

-files from Don Brennan and Bruce Garrioch

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s