COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ryan Murray was prepping himself for the worst from the very beginning.
After sustaining a serious shoulder injury on November 16 against the Victoria Royals, the 19-year-old captain of the Everett Silvertips and Blue Jackets prospect knew surgery was a high likelihood. The decision was made within the last couple of days, and Murray will undergo surgery to repair the shoulder in the next 2-3 weeks.
The anticipated recovery time is six months, meaning Murray will not play in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships for Team Canada and will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
"It's been really disappointing," Murray told BlueJackets.com. "It's not the kind of news you want to hear, and it's going to be a long recovery time. But this surgery pretty much has to be done.
"But you gotta do what you gotta do, and I'm just going to rehab it, do the best job I can in the process and get it back to 100 percent as quickly as possible."
The injury occurred when Murray and a Royals forward collided on the right wing boards as the result of Murray finishing his check. Murray fell backward on to the ice and instantly felt that something wasn't right.
"I kind of hit him awkwardly, I guess, and fell down to the ice," Murray said. "As soon as my arm hit the ice, I could feel that my shoulder had popped out. It was really quick, I fell down, put my arm down and knew right away. It was kind of a freak accident."
With such a lengthy recovery and rehab period, Murray knows it will be difficult both physically and emotionally. He's missing out on important events like representing his country, and won't be able to take the ice every night with his Silvertips teammates and be a leader for the younger players.
And aside from rehab check-ups, he's going to be pretty bored.
"It'll be a lot of sitting around watching TV, and after the surgery it'll be even worse," Murray said. "It's going to suck, for sure. I can still use the shoulder, and they want me doing some rehab stuff after the surgery. But after the surgery, it's going to be pretty locked up for about a month."
Perhaps the hardest part will be watching his close friends compete for Canada in Ufa, Russia, when the World Junior tournament gets under way the day after Christmas. Murray was a sure-fire bet to make Team Canada and play a big role on a star-studded blue line.
Knowing it's likely his last chance to do so makes it even worse.
"I'll never get the opportunity to play in that tournament again, which really sucks," Murray said. "That's just the way it goes, you know? Being out the whole year, too, is tough. I've never been in this situation before, so it's all new to me. I've never had an injury with this much recovery time, so it's going to be a new experience and process.
"It's disappointing, but it happens to a lot of people in the game. It's not the first time I've been hurt, and won't be the last, so it's something I have to deal with."
"There was a slight chance of that, I guess, but I was pretty much expecting having to do surgery. I knew there I might not have to do surgery, but my mind was set on expecting this news from the get-go."