CORAL SPRINGS – Bryan Allen balanced on his crutches then leaned against the wall.
“It’s tough,” said the defenseman earlier this week here at IncredibleIce after watching a Panthers’ practice. “I really can’t do anything.”
Allen, who underwent cartilage surgery on his left knee Oct. 26, was well enough to stop in on his teammates earlier in the week and wish them well before their three-game road trip. Unfortunately, Allen won’t be accompanying them on the road for the foreseeable future.
Allen, the Panthers’ alternate captain, is in a knee brace for another seven weeks. It won’t be until the first week of January that Allen will return to Colorado where the surgery was performed so doctors can determine how next to proceed with his recovery.
Allen spends eight hours a day with his leg attached to a motion machine. “It basically very slowly moves from my leg from 0 to 50 degrees eight hours a day,” he said. “It’s time consuming, and the time being consumed is spent doing nothing. So, basically, it’s doing nothing.”
Allen, who had arthroscopic surgery in the off-season before noticing swelling in his knee after the first two games of the season, said he’s not clear when or if he’ll be able to get back this season.
“I have to wean myself off the crutches first,” Allen said. “I’ll see the doctors after I do that and once I’ve had a chance to walk a bit and make sure there’s no complications with that. Then I see the doctor and, hopefully, slowly get back into biking.”
Allen said there’s no specific target dates once he begins to rehabilitate.
“From what I’ve heard from different people who’ve had the procedure and the research I’ve done, it’s like any other healing,” he said. “People heal in different ways at different times. So we have to wait and see. I’m sure when I go back (in January) I’ll have a follow-up MRI, but I think it’s more about how you feel. I think once you get more movement and weight bearing on those areas you haven’t used in eight weeks, that’s a pretty good indication of how you’re healing.”
As far as total recovery time?
“I’ve heard anywhere from five months to nine months,” Allen said. “The doctors are really good at saying, ‘Prepare yourself for that,” because they don’t want you to rush the situation. It could take almost a full year for that cartilage to fully form. Everyone is different and everyone reacts to surgery differently.
“So, yeah, there’s potential to come back. But don’t count on it, is what they’re basically saying.”