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Brodeur facing two months of inactivity

by Dan Rosen /

"They say it's going to take about 8 weeks before I'm going to be able to really move it and start making movements and rehabbing it and getting some strength in it and then after that it depends on how everything responds."
-- Martin Brodeur

Phase one of Martin Brodeur's road back to the New Jersey Devils net was completed Thursday when surgery was performed to repair the distal biceps tendon in his left elbow.

"Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur underwent surgery to repair the distal bicep in his left elbow this morning," New Jersey President, Generaql Manager, CEO Lou Lamoriello said "According to the doctors, his surgery was 100 percent successful. The timetable for his return remains three to four months."

Now that the surgery is over, Brodeur is entering the recovery and rehab phase. The prognosis is that he's staring at 3-4 months on the shelf before he'll be ready to play again, and Kevin Weekes can attest to that.

Weekes, who is holding Brodeur's job as the Devils' No. 1 goalie until the future Hall of Famer returns, underwent a similar surgery in late May and was also given the 3-4 month window for recovery and rehab. He wound up returning on the short end of the projected time away, but Weekes' biceps tendon was only partially torn off his elbow bone whereas Brodeur's ripped completely off the bone.

"I was ready for training camp (in mid-September), put it that way, and I was on the ice almost a month before training camp," Weekes said. "In that sense I was ahead of schedule a little bit. I tried to do a couple of things to accelerate the healing in my rehab and that really helped. The main thing was to be ready for camp. Even though I was supposed to be ready later, I was ahead of schedule and fortunately able to participate in camp and go from there."

Weekes said he was told to shoot for late in the preseason or the regular season to be ready, but he got back earlier. Brodeur said on Tuesday that he is obviously hoping for a shorter rehab than expected, but he couldn't make any predictions. He can, however, lean on Weekes for advice during the rehab phase.

"Who knows how I'm going to respond to everything, but the rehab is pretty simple," Brodeur said. "It's just a question of a getting the surgery done, getting it immobilized for a while and after that start working toward getting better. They say it's going to take about 8 weeks before I'm going to be able to really move it and start making movements and rehabbing it and getting some strength in it and then after that it depends on how everything responds. I'm going to take my time to make sure everything is fine. They seem to be pretty confident that when I'll be back it's not something that's going to reoccur at all."

Weekes, who had his surgery performed in New Jersey but by a different doctor, was told the same thing. The injury is not career threatening.

"I don't know what they said to Marty, but in my case the success rate had been high so that's always reassuring and nice to hear," Weekes said. "Fortunately I was ahead of schedule and it's all behind me now and here we are. That's the good thing."

Weekes picked up his first win since Nov. 12, 2007 in Wednesday's 4-3 shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. He'll likely be back in the net Saturday in Detroit, but there's a good chance new backup Scott Clemmensen will start Sunday in New Jersey against the Edmonton Oilers.

Weekes hasn't been a No. 1 goalie since playing 66 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003-04. Clemmensen was Brodeur's backup in 2006-07, but played in only 6 games while Brodeur played in 78.

"You try to reconnect with what the reality was like when I was playing that many games and in addition to that just taking it day-by-day," he said. "Approach every practice for what it is on that particular day and every game for what it is on that particular day. You try to stay present."

The Devils have already jumped on his back. Captain Jamie Langenbrunner, for one, talked Wednesday about proving that the Devils are bigger than just Brodeur.

"Jamie said it right; this team is about more than one person," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "Marty's stature speaks for itself, but Marty's stature is part of what the team is about. We just have to continue to move on. Marty will get healthy. He'll be fine and we'll have him down the stretch. We have to win hockey games between now and then and we will."

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