Oscar Klefbom wants to get back to playing hockey.
The Swedish defenceman has had a long road to becoming an NHL regular and now, with what appears to be a shoulder surgery on the horizon, he is setting his sights towards getting healthy.
And to do so, Klefbom had to step away from the Oilers this season in order to take care of an arthritic shoulder that began having an impact on his personal life.
“It comes to a point where you’re not really feeling right in your private life,” said Klefbom speaking to media members from Karlstad, Sweden, adding the shoulder has been getting better. “It’s one thing to be on the ice and take some pain medication and anti-inflamms and play through it, but when it comes to a point where you can’t really sleep and put your clothes on properly… your body says ‘no, you should not be doing this anymore.’
“It’s tough to tell the guys and management that I need to do something, but I love hockey and I want to get back playing and be fair to myself and the organization.”
For Klefbom, the injury stems back from a separated shoulder he suffered playing for Farjestads before coming to North America.
“It’s been bad for a while and I’ve been playing through pain,” said Klefbom, who admitted he wasn’t 100% during last summer’s return-to-play, “but I wanted to be there for the guys.
“This is not something that has happened overnight. I was kind of aware I had to do something. In the end you have to listen to your body. What I’ve heard there’s risk for arthritis and other stuff going with this when you have this kind of surgery that I had in my younger days.”
Now, he’s looking to head to Cleveland, Ohio for an in-person consultation about his options, but the COVID-19 pandemic, Klefbom said, has made that an issue.
“I’d like to get the surgery done as soon as possible, but travelling and going into different countries and all that and getting surgery in the end,” he said, “it’s tough to find a pretty good solution. It’s a crazy situation for everyone, including me. I don’t really put pressure on myself to get the surgery done, because I want to get it done in the end. ”
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