Monday, November 15, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: The Walking (always) Wounded

One of the worst things a pro athlete will have to deal with in his or her career is a bad injury, and unfortunately, injuries are a constant in sports that you sometimes just can’t avoid.

In some cases a player will spend an entire career struggling to stay healthy, while other times a normally injury-free player will be bogged down for a while when, all of a sudden, they suffer a string of injuries. It’s just one of those things where you never know who is next!

Take Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov, for instance. He tore a tendon in his leg on opening night of the 2009-10 season and injured his knee in the second round of the playoffs that year, which required off-season surgery. He missed the first ten games of this season before finally returning to the lineup…and guess what happened?

This past Saturday, the veteran defenseman collided knee-on-knee with Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, re-injuring the knee he hurt last season. The Montreal management is being very tight-lipped about Markov’s status, but the Montreal Gazette reports he could miss as much as three months of action!

He’s not the only NHLer that can’t seem to stay healthy all of a sudden – what about Jordan Staal?

The brother of Eric, Marc and Jared Staal hadn’t missed a game in his first four seasons before an injury in last year’s playoffs, the same series that Markov was injured in. Staal sliced a tendon in his foot during that series with Montreal, which ended his postseason. That injury became infected during the summer, requiring a second surgery and setting his progress back.

Finally, he was able to resume skating and was close to making his season debut…until a puck hit him during practice, which broke his hand and put him out for an additional six weeks.

Some guys have all the luck, don’t they? You can’t feel bad for those guys without feeling really bad for these next few guys though:

How about Jesse Lumsden? If you’re a fan of the CFL you’ll know that Lumsden is a powerhouse of a player when he’s healthy, which he rarely is.

That streak of bad luck continued this season – after missing all of 2009 due to a shoulder injury suffered in the first quarter of the Edmonton Eskimos season, he resurfaced late this year with the Calgary Stampeders. Not long into his stint with the Stamps though, Lumsden suffered a “severe knee (ACL) injury” that will sideline him, once again, for an extended period of time.

This is a guy who can’t seem to stop getting hurt! During his time in the CFL, he had a couple of NFL tryouts; what do you suppose ‘hurt’ his chances down south? If you guessed the injuries he was carrying, or sustained during NFL camps, you’re absolutely right! In the past two CFL seasons, he has managed not even a full quarter, and then about three games before going down hurt.

Thankfully for Lumsden, this latest injury shouldn’t hurt his bobsled career.

While we’re talking Calgary and football (the other kind, though), I couldn’t talk chronic injuries without brining up Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves!

Since moving to Old Trafford from Bayern Munich in 2007, the Calgary native has been a walking injury. After staying health in his first season with Man U, Hargreaves developed tendonitis in his knee in 2008, which caused him to miss more than 100 games over the next 20 months. He missed the start of the current season with another nagging injury, but made his debut two weeks ago against Wolverhampton Wanderers – a game in which he injured his hamstring!

The list goes on, too: Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers, Peter Forsberg, Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders

At least they all make a decent amount of money!

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