Despite being given a 6-8 month timetable for recovery after undergoing ACL and MCL surgery on Feb. 12, Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis was in good spirits on Thursday as he spoke to the media for the first time since the injury – vowing to do everything he could to return sooner rather than later.
“You guys know me, you know I’ll be pushing for six,” he said. “So it’s definitely a goal of mine. It definitely looks and sounds long, but I guess you can’t rush healing. Feeling good, the surgery went well. So it’s rehab right now and it’s one day at a time.”
Dupuis was hurt on Dec. 28 in Ottawa when linemate Sidney Crosby fell into his knee following a hip check from Senators defenseman Marc Methot. Dupuis said he knew it was bad right away “just because I didn’t feel the bottom part of my leg, basically.”
Yep, that’s bad.
“Everything felt so loose that nothing was holding it,” Dupuis said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture of me going back to the bench, (in it) I’m holding my leg and I’m like alright, is there something down there? It feels much better now, though.”
The reason Dupuis waited over six weeks to have the surgery was because he had actually torn his MCL as well as his ACL, and was trying to get that part of his knee healed before going under the knife so they didn’t have to touch it. Unfortunately, his MCL did not heal the way they hoped it would, so the doctors had to reconstruct that along with his ACL.
“Just strengthening everything around it to make sure the MCL had a chance to heal before surgery but it didn’t, so they fixed both,” he said.
Dupuis’ biggest asset is his speed, and with an injury like this there’s always a concern that could be affected. But after talking with the doctors, Dupuis said he’s certain he’ll be able to return to the form he was in before getting injured.
“Definitely coming back to 100 percent,” he said. “That’s not something I’m worried about at all.”
It’s been tough for the Penguins to be without their beloved veteran leader Dupuis, and it’s been equally hard for him to watch. But he knows there’s nothing he can do except work as hard as he can to be ready for next season.
“It’s hard. It’s not something I’m used to, sitting and not being part of the group, the team, the guys that are on the ice every day and having success and having fun doing it,” he said. “But I guess it’s part of the job, and right now my job is to rehab and come back to 100 percent for next year.”