If you ask Wayne Simmonds what hurts most about his injury the answer doesn’t have any thing to do with pain in his leg during rehab.
“We are a team and even though we didn’t have a chance to make the playoffs it would’ve been nice to finish it off with the guys,” said Simmonds, who is rehabbing near his home in Toronto. “I have a lot of respect and a lot of love for everybody in that dressing room. It sucked missing the last seven games of the year. I kind of felt like I wasn’t able to be there for the guys.”
Simmonds came all too close to surpassing his career high in goals for a second straight year, and barring injury would most likely have done that.
Although he still led the Flyers in lighting the lamp, a total of 28 times, the 26-year old took more significant strides in leadership, which progressively grew as he was appointed assistant captain for the first time in his career prior to opening night last October.
The task at hand and now question that faces Simmonds, who has never really been sidelined with an injury for an extended period of time, is what has the rehab process been like.
PhiladelphiaFlyers.com caught up with Simmonds on how he is progressing:
Q: How are you feeling?
“A lot better. It’s nice to get out of the cast and walking boot and ditch the crutches. Obviously it was a crappy end to the season and I’m looking forward to start training again.”
Q: What has the rehab process been like for you so far?
“I’ve never had anything where I’ve had to rehab quite like this. I got out of my cast about three weeks ago and I went right to the pool. Jimmy [McCrossin] started me on a rehab program and I started walking in the pool. The assisted walking and buoyancy of the water, it makes you a little bit lighter so it’s easy to handle when you’re walking around.”
Q: Anything specific about your rehab?
“I started to use some new machines that haven’t even been around before because I haven’t been injured, but it’s pretty cool being able to use some of the stuff. I used this treadmill [that blew] a bubble and allowed you to use a certain amount of your weight. It was kind of like floating on the moon for a little bit there. It was really cool.”
Q: When you're ready to, will you start skating or focus on off-ice conditioning since it's the summer months?
“I’ll just be focusing on off-ice conditioning. At the moment I can’t really do any running. I still have another couple weeks before I can start doing anything like that, so I’ll probably just keep going for walks and I’m going to check in with my trainer on Monday here in Toronto and continue the rehab process.”
Q: Have you been following the playoffs at all?
“Yeah. I said I wasn’t going to, but I love hockey and I can’t really stop watching it.”
Q: Any series in particular?
“I watched most of Minnesota-Chicago. One of my good friends plays for Minnesota so I try to keep a tab on him, but I’m actually really happy for Kimmo [Timonen]. If we can’t win it, I’d like for Kimmo to win it that’s for sure.”