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Galchenyuk starting on rehab program

by Alex Galchenyuk
Alex Galchenyuk is a forward for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot, 198-pound forward was born in Milwaukee but is of Russian decent -- his father, Alexander, spent five of his 22 professional seasons playing in the U.S. Alex was the first pick of the 2010 OHL draft, and last season had 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games. He had 2 goals and 1 assist in five games for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and returned to take part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Despite suffering a major knee injury that could end his season before it really starts, Galchenyuk has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi everybody. First of all I would like to thank all my fans and friends for supporting me through this little bump on the road. It was great to receive all those messages on Twitter (@AGally94). Thank you! It really made me feel much better and it's great to know that so many people support me.

My injury happened during an exhibition game against Windsor. I hurt my knee trying to get to the net. Of course, I didn't even imagine that it would turn out this serious. Doctors looked at me, some thought my anterior cruciate ligament was torn, others thought it wasn't, but either way I had to wait for three weeks until my knee would be completely straight and not be swollen because it felt stiff and only time could make it loosen up. During those three weeks I went to therapy, thought that I was getting better, did workouts and even tried going out on the ice. I wanted to start playing! Then I had a second MRI done and that was when the doctors told me the final decision: The ligament was torn and surgery was required. Until that moment I still didn't want to believe that it was this serious. I didn't feel that it was torn and I just wanted to get back on the ice as soon as I could. At first I was really upset; I mean, I was so looking forward to this season. I trained hard all summer and was ready, but then as the time for surgery came closer, I just wanted to get it over with; the faster the better so I could start recovering, going to therapy and finally getting out on the ice. Whatever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger!

I had my surgery Oct. 27, and I feel better now knowing that it's all done and I can be 100-percent ready soon.

Right now I've started therapy. I go at least once a day and most days twice. I also work out with my dad in the gym, concentrating on my upper body right now, but as soon as my doctor thinks it's time, I will start doing leg workouts, too.

The boys from the team have been very supportive. They come by and visit me a lot and we have a great time! I watch all our games; the guys are playing really well. Right now it's only been 13 days since surgery, but soon as I get better I would like to spend more time with the team during practices and games. Of course it's hard for me to watch from the sidelines, I really want to be out there, but it's all part of the game and unfortunately injuries are part of hockey, so I'll have to deal with this and just focus on getting better.

I also watch all the NHL games, really love "NHL: On the Fly." Actually, the NHL Network is on 24/7 in our house.

I recently found out that the 2012 NHL Draft will be in Pittsburgh. Before the beginning of this season I had a great time at the NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp where all the top guys for this year's draft played. The coach of my team was Dan Bylsma from the Penguins. I think I was a little awestruck when I first met him; it was very cool to have such a great person behind the bench coaching you and giving you advice. I loved the whole experience and playing with and against the top players is always a lot of fun.

I'm on the road to recovery now, doing everything I can to get better and come out as strong as I can. Hopefully for my next blog next month, I'll be out on the ice. Thanks again for all your thoughts and support.
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