|Edmonton Oilers' Raffi Torres, left, looks for an open teammate while being pursued by Los Angeles Kings' Jon Klemm during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) |
The Oilers announced this morning that Raffi Torres will be undergoing season-ending knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“The decision’s been made. He tried to skate the other day and it didn’t go well so he’s going to have surgery and he’ll be done for the season,” said head coach Craig MacTavish. “It’s difficult. The game to Raffi is very important to him. A lot of guys that have a lot of outside interests, the game isn’t the most important thing to them but for Raffi the game is important to him.”
The injury occurred during a seemingly harmless play on December 13 in Detroit versus the Red Wings.
“If anything, I’m happy it’s finalized. I’m going to do the surgery get it over with and focus on next year,” said the Oilers winger, noting that a date for the surgery has not yet been set. “I’m going to head home for a couple days, do the surgery then depending on how I feel start rehab.”
MacTavish remarked that Torres will be able to draw on the experience of several long time teammates and friends Ethan Moreau and Jarret Stoll for help on dealing with long term injuries.
“It’s going to be very difficult for him and he’s going to have to manage that. He’ll have Ethan Moreau as a guy he can have some dialogue with on how to deal with the frustration of missing so many games,” stated MacTavish.
“If there’s any guy to look at for an example, it’s Ethan. He’s come back now and looks like he hasn’t missed a day,” Torres concurred. “I need to just be positive and upbeat.”
The surgery option was there back when the injury occurred but Torres wanted to wait several weeks to see if there was enough healing that he could wear a knee brace the rest of the season.
|Edmonton Oilers, from left, Zack Stortini, Raffi Torres, and Jarret Stoll, celebrate Torres' goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Avery) |
“There was a small window there that if it settled down and we braced it up and he didn’t have a lot of pain that possibly he could have played. Right from the outset, the medical staff said it was going to be a longshot but there was no real downside to taking the time,” said MacTavish.
“He was going to be done for the season regardless whether he had the surgery now or three weeks ago. We gave it the three-week period and tried it but it was no good.”
The frustrating part for Torres is that there was definite improvement in his condition but once he really put the knee to the test on the ice he knew that surgery would be the only option.
“It got better, I wasn’t having any pain at night. The harder we worked it, the more confident I was feeling in my head but after skating – I was only out there for 10 minutes – once I started pushing I knew I couldn’t do it,” he said. “The knee was bugging me the rest of the day after that. It was a throbbing pain.
“It’s going to be a long road to when I get on the ice again and start pushing myself to where I want to be but I think I’ll be able to overcome it.”