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Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Sekera to return earlier than expected?

One of the biggest offseason storylines for the Oilers has been about Andrej Sekera missing a chunk of next season as he recovers from surgery on a torn ACL. The expected recovery for this injury has an intial timeline of six to nine months but ol’ Reggie thinks he could be back on the earlier side which would be yuuuuuuge.

After having an up and down season in his first year with the Oilers, Andrej Sekera established himself as one of the team’s best defensive options on the blue line and one that was able to play in any situation. Sekera always seemed to find a way to calm things down/make a clean outlet pass/generally be in the right spot and it was nice not having to worry about what the hell he was doing.

Having him miss months of the season would have left a massive hole on the Oilers’ back end that would likely have to be filled with someone fighting above their weight class. That’s not to say that Nurse or Benning aren’t destined for the second pairing in time, but it may still be a little bit early in their careers to realistically expect them to succeed in those roles now.

Over at Lowetide’s site, he found an interview that Sekera did with Sport.sk where he talks about his recovery:

“I’m seven weeks after surgery. Four and a half weeks I was in Canada, then they pulled stitches and told me that I can go home. We were a moment with his girlfriend on vacation. Now I came to Banska Bystrica, test the knee. Slowly I starting to bother him. Still has a long way. Rehabilitation takes to break Križni knee ligament in six to nine months. I believe it will be only six.”

Obviously, it would be a huge win for the Oilers if Sekera’s recovery time is shorter rather than longer, and having him miss only 20 games instead of 30 or 40 could only help. That said, the Oilers will still need to weather the storm while he’s out and it’s going to take some guys stepping their game up to make sure that happens. Not to mention, Sekera will have to prove to the doctors he’s not going to reinjure himself when he returns and will also have to shake off the rust that comes with a long-term injury like this.

On the bright side, if he’s feeling as good as he claims to be, and will actually miss six months instead of nine, that will bring Sekera back into the mix sometime in November, which would be a lot better than having him out until January. Personally, I had him coming back at some point around Christmas so anything before that is a win in my books.In the meantime, I’ll keep scouring the dark web for the blood of princes, prized goat urine, or anything else I can find that we can rub on his leg in an attempt to speed up the healing process.

Gordspeed, Reggie. We’re all pulling for you.

  • ed from edmonton

    Bonus if its 6 and not 9 months. But I believe the Oil are using the “plan for the worst, hope for the best” plan. It wouldn’t be the 1st time an athlete is overly optimistic about recovery time.

  • I appreciate his optimism. Yeah Sekera might “technically” be recovered enough to go on the ice but most likely he won’t be anywhere near 100% effective until the end of next season (if then). I wish to god these guys would put their career longevity in priority instead of rushing back to compete with pain, swelling, fear of re-injury while less than optimal and the mental blocks that go with all that. Waiting a few extra months will prolong your career a few extra years. These older guys should look at Roger Federer as their role model.

    And before you guys crash my feed with anger, I’ve had both MCL and ACL repairs at about that age and was in elite level shape with top shelf rehab help at the U of A sports clinic. The real recovery process is far harder than you might think.

    • SkiBikeHike

      I just had ACL reconstruction with a graft a little over 4 weeks ago myself. There’s a good chance I had the same surgeon as Reggie. The problem with coming back early from an ACL reconstruction, if they did a graft from his hamstring, is that it takes 9-12 months for the graft to get back to near full strength. And there’s no way to speed that process up. The new ACL is at it’s weakest around 4-6 months, but that’s also when people start to feel really good about their knee. Hence why people often re-injure it around that time. Even at 4 weeks post surgery, part of me feels like I could easily get back on skates or skis or whatever, but that’s just asking to re-injure it.

      That being said, it’s possible that they did a different procedure for him because he’s a pro athlete. In the past they used ligaments from cadavers, human or otherwise. But I think that’s long since fallen out of favor.

  • Gordie Wayne

    So let’s say he misses 41 games (half the season). How does that benefit the Oilers with regards to the cap? With a contract of 5.5 million, do the Oilers get an additional 2.25 million in space for the year? How does this impact the cap?

  • Averagewhitebread

    I hope he’s back early but really I don’t know if we need to rush him. Game four of the ducks series taught me that Larsson can play Pronger like minutes and still be the best defensive option, plus when Benning was playing the power play he looked comfortable. So if him and Larsson share that 2nd power play spot it’s still going to be decent patchwork

  • thenoble1

    Please Sekera, don’t be in a rush to get back. Knee injuries are very prone to reinjury if you rush back to play too soon. Take your time, get strong and healthy.