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Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Klefbom Dealing With Arthritis

Oscar Klefbom has played with shoulder pain for a few years. And he’s lived with it daily. His shoulder discomfort has even made sleeping uncomfortable at times during the hockey season.

Two different sources confirmed Klefbom’s shoulder ailment has been an issue for years.

I’m told he is dealing with chronic arthritis in his shoulder, and surgery isn’t an easy fix. There is no guarantee it will solve the problem, and the major concern for Klefbom is if he has surgery and nothing improves, it might make it worse. A medical person explained that one reason to have surgery would be to debride the joint and possibly take a part of the acromion (a bony process on the scapula) to give him better function in his shoulder.

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Today, Oilers GM Ken Holland addressed Klefbom’s status.

“I don’t think it’s that simple,” said Holland responding to why didn’t Klefbom have surgery once the Oilers were eliminated.

“If he needs it, why doesn’t he get surgery and why wait two months? Then you’ve lost two months. If it was that easy, he would make those decisions but it’s not that easy. He played with some pain. In February we shut him down for I think nine games. He went to see a shoulder specialist, and again it’s not cut and dry.

“It’s not as simple as you do have surgery or you don’t have surgery. I think Klef needs to make a decision based upon the information that he’s given from his body and the doctors — he’s seen a couple of shoulder specialists — and see how he wants to proceed.

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“In past years the season has ended and there’s been a long offseason for it (his shoulder) to get better and he comes back and he plays. But as he goes forward each year the body is another year older and beat up a little more. He has to decide how he wants to proceed and again, from the club’s perspective, would you like to have an answer? Yeah. But, I always think I’ve got to respect that this is an important player on the team, but he’s also a person who has to make a decision that is going to be very important to him going forward in his life and I have to respect that.”

Holland’s response about it being an issue that isn’t easily fixed by surgery matches with my sources confirming Klefbom is dealing with arthritis.

Klefbom has tried different treatments to fix it, and often the pain subsides, but then it reappears during the wear and tear of an NHL season.

Holland also mentioned it is likely Klefbom won’t be ready to start the season, and could possibly be sidelined for the entire year.

Will surgery help? They don’t know and that is why Klefbom is not rushing into a decision. It could have a huge impact on how much longer he is able to play.

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