BostonBruins.com - There was a time when ACL/MCL injuries were career-ending.
Luckily for Dennis Seidenberg, that time no longer exists. With improvements in surgical procedures and rehab techniques, athletes like Seidenberg can come back even stronger than before.
That's what the Bruins' defenseman has his sights on, as he continues on the road to full recovery from his season-ending ACL/MCL tear in his right knee back on December 27.
While most Bruins have traveled to their hometowns for the summer or wherever they're training, Seidenberg was still in Boston this week, and helped to present a $30,000 donation from the team's Pucks & Pups Calendar to the MSPCA, which cares for animals awaiting homes.
At the event, Seidenberg also recounted the season and gave an update on his rehab.
"I mean, it's not 100 percent, but that's expected," said the blueliner, who is five months and one week into his recovery, which was originally estimated at the six to eight months timetable.
"It would have been probably good enough to play eventually, but still working to get it where it should be, and I'm confident it will be by the time we get started."
For Seidenberg and the Bruins, that will come in September when the team reports for training camp in advance of the 2014-15 campaign.
For the next three and a half months, he'll be doing everything in his power to be ready, just as he was trying to do during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when there was a chance he could return to game action if the team had advanced to the Eastern Conference Final.
"We would have had a couple of practices I think after Round 2 and then we would have seen how I'm doing, how I'm feeling, taking contact and battling a little bit harder, and then we would have gone from there," said Seidenberg. "But there would have been a definite chance, yeah."
It wasn't meant to be for him or the team in 2013-14, with a frustrating season on the injury front and a disappointing end.
"Just, we were were really disappointed not to make it, but for the most part, the guys are doing well and recovering from surgery or whatever they had and enjoying the summer," he said.
With the Stanley Cup Final underway, Seidenberg admitted he'd probably tune in - if anything, to follow friend Justin Williams on LA.
"Usually I watch, especially since I haven't played for so long, it's kind of nice to watch games and see how the other teams do," said the defenseman, who unfortunately did a lot of watching during the second half of the season. "For the most part, I watch games, even though they make me mad sometimes, and they just make me aggravated, but I do watch."
Away from the game, Seidenberg is looking forward to a relaxing summer with his family - but there will be no letting up on his rehab.
"I haven’t really had a strenuous season behind me so there’s no reason why I should take some time off," the defenseman told me.
"We're going to be here for another week until pre-Kindergarten is over, and then we'll go down to New Jersey, where my wife is from, and spend some relaxing time down there, and get ready for the next season," he said of his offseason plans.
The 32-year-old will enter his sixth season as a Bruin in 2014-15, after first being acquired from Florida in 2010. It marks his longest tenure with an NHL team. Last October, he signed a four-year contract extension that keeps him in Black & Gold until at least the 2017-18 season.
"I have a lot of fun playing here, and that’s important, and the coaches have trust in me and that’s the most important thing," Seidenberg said back on October 3, 2013. "We have a good team here and in the future I think we’re going to be good for a lot of years."
It's safe to say Seidenberg is not only rehabbing to get himself into peak condition for next season, but for a lengthy, successful stay with the Spoked-B.