TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brad Lukowich will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia on Friday, February 22 in Starnberg, Germany, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced today. He has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to February 9.
Lukowich will travel to Munich, Germany on Wednesday, February 19 and meet with doctors for testing the following day. Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck who has previously operated on other NHL players with sports hernias, will perform the procedure. Muschaweck is world renowned for operating on Premier League soccer players and her minimal repair technique is expected to cut recovery time in half. More information will be available following the procedure, but Lukowich is expected to be out of the line-up for three to four weeks.
"This past summer our Head Medical Trainer, Tom Mulligan, recommended that we send Nolan Pratt to Germany to have this unique procedure performed because it would dramatically reduce his recovery time,” Feaster said. “We agreed and we actually had Tom accompany Pratter. Tom was able to personally witness the operation, meet with the medical staff and become very conversant on the benefits of the procedure. Both Tom and Pratter highly recommended we consider utilizing Dr. Muschaweck in the future for players with similar injuries, so when the medical staff determined that surgery was necessary to repair Brad's injury there was no question about our suggesting we go back to Germany as soon as possible. We are deeply grateful that Dr. Muschaweck quickly rearranged her schedule to accommodate us and look forward to getting Brad back as quickly as possible."
The decision to proceed with surgical repair was made by the Lightning medical staff and management following an attempt of conservative treatment that did not relieve Lukowich's symptoms.
Lukowich, a veteran of 577 NHL games, has a goal and six assists in 54 games with the Lightning this season. He also leads the team in hits with 147 and blocked shots with 101. The Cranbrook, British Columbia native is currently in his third season with Tampa Bay and won the Stanley Cup with the team in 2004.