While his teammates are hard at work on the ice, injured Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez is doing his share off the ice to get back in tip-top shape.
On December 12 of last year, Fernandez underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a chronic tear of his medial collateral ligament (MCL). Following the surgery, it was expected that Fernandez would be sidelined for the remainder of the 2007-2008 NHL season.
However, from the looks of his intense workout regimen, Fernandez could be back in commission sooner than anticipated.
“Either next week or two weeks from now I’m going to be on the ice for the first time in a while, and from there I think they’re going to be able to tell realistically how long [until I can play in a game],” Fernandez said.
During his recovery, Fernandez has been working out twice a day with Scott Waugh, the B’s team physical therapist.
“He sends me everything,” Fernandez says of Waugh. “He sends his biggest workouts right at me, and I have to come through.”
Fernandez’s two-a-days consist of morning workouts in a pool, followed by either agility exercises or a strength training routine in the afternoon.
During last Tuesday night’s home game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Fernandez ventured outside the comforts of the B’s locker room to work on some agility drills in the heart of the action on level three – ice level – of the TDBanknorth Garden.
Despite the constant movement of Zambonis and Bullgang members alike, Waugh and Fernandez have adopted the “backstage” area of level three as their new workout space.
The constant stream of spectators might annoy some, but Fernandez enjoys the motivation of a hockey crowd and following his workout, even stopped by the NESN booth for an interview.
“There’s nothing better than having a game going on at the same time,” he told BostonBruins.com. “To hear the fans roaring in the background is obviously really good for me.
"It gets your adrenaline going, and soon enough it will be me out there, so it’s a [good way to reinforce the] goal.”
Fernandez circuit trains for about 30-second intervals, doing such exercises as jump rope, lateral shuffles, agility ladder and ball drills.
“It’s been going good," said Fernandez. "It’s a lot of work. You don’t necessarily remember how hard it is to get to that point, but you’ve got to get up the ladder.”
And despite all the people passing by – security personnel, Garden employees, even the Ice Girls – nothing could distract him from his main focus and ultimate objective: to get back on the ice.
“The closer you get to getting on the ice, the harder it gets,” he said, “[but] we’re definitely getting pretty close.”