I suppose this article could be taken as further proof that I hate Steve Tambellini. Or the Oilers. Or possibly just Mondays.
I wanted to pass along an update on Nikolai Khabibulin’s back problems, and unfortunately the news isn’t particularly good.
Over at mc79hockey.com, Tyler Dellow has done some digging through the documents filed in Nikolai Khabibulin’s DUI case, and one of the things he discovered was a letter dated May 24 from the surgeon who has been working on Khabibulin. Here’s the most relevant excerpt (for the full letter, see here):
He is under activity restrictions. We hope for a full recovery, but that has not occurred at this time. He is making progress and we will reevaluate his condition in June 2010.
As Dellow points out, the initial recovery timetable supplied by Khabibulin’s agent was 12 weeks – early April, in other words, meaning that the recovery has already taken 60% longer than expected.
Of course, this isn’t dire news at this point: the letter is over a month old, and the Oilers are still a long ways from kicking off the 2010-11 season. It is however something to be concerned about, and perhaps provides additional context for the Oilers’ decision to qualify both Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk.
As a side point, Khabibulin’s surgeon appears to be this man (although I suppose it could also be his son), and if so at least his back is in good hands. Watkins has a fairly long track record of performing surgery on athletes from a range of professional sports; his previous hockey clients include John LeClair and Mario Lemieux.