Jay Bouwmeester knew right away.
"I kind of got tripped up and fell down awkwardly (Saturday in Dallas). That was that," Bouwmeester said shortly after the St. Louis Blues announced that a hip injury would sideline him for the rest of the season and four to six months overall. "I pretty much knew it was not good… it was just a matter of time, I think."
Bouwmeester has been dealing with a nagging hip injury since early December.
Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said rather than get surgery, Bouwmeester opted to play through it with injections.
"Jay wants to play through anything, and it shows a lot of character for him to play through the pain of his hip," Armstrong said. "… From December on it was very painful doing day-to-day things and playing hockey. But he fought through it for us and I give him full marks for that."
Video: Bouwmeester discusses season-ending hip injury
"We knew he was playing on borrowed time I would say," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "We were hoping he was going to get through the season, but we knew there was really only so much life left in that hip of his. Very safe to say he gave us absolutely everything he had. Him playing through pain, playing through that without complaining - first off, he was in way more pain than he let anybody know that he was. He's a hockey player, and it's a really good example and certainly one you hope your young players look to and try to model themselves after. There's a reason why he's played 1,200 games in this League, and World Championships and Olympics because of the way that he's conducted himself."
Armstrong said further injections were no longer possible, so Bouwmeester is expected to undergo surgery soon.
Video: Armstrong comments on injuries to Bouwmeester/Upshall
"You do what you can to play until you can't play anymore. At a certain point you just have to think down the road and for me, this is the best thing. Just get it fixed and move on," Bouwmeester said. "The hardest thing is not being able to play and not being able to play right now. We're still right there, we're two points out of the playoffs and I'm at the point in my career where that's all I want to do is play in the playoffs and have a chance to win.
"Yesterday was a hard day for me because it hit (me) that I wasn't going to be able to help out," Bouwmeester added. "That's the hardest thing, you want to be able to help your teammates."
Armstrong said he expects Jordan Schmaltz to get a bigger opportunity in Bouwmeester's absence, and Vince Dunn will be expected to take on a bigger role.
Through 35 game this season, Bouwmeester has posted two goals and five assists (seven points) and a plus-5 rating.
Video: Blues locker room reacts to injuries