Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that forward Steve Sullivan is not expected to play this season. Poile said he did, however, expect Sullivan to be healthy in time for the 2008-09 season.
Sullivan has missed the entire 2007-08 season due to a back injury suffered against Montreal Feb. 22, 2007.
On Steve Sullivan’s progress…
"Sully’s just returned from Seattle. He (the doctor in Seattle) concurred everything that has been done for Sully and told him there is nothing else he can do other than strengthen his back, rehab his back, to get ready to play. The question is how long that will take. He told him realistically, that’s six months to a year after you an operation like he had. At this time it is very doubtful that Steve will play this season. Having said that, Steve feels very confident that he will be ready to play next year and he’s going to do everything that he can to get 100%. He’s going to go out to Seattle in the next couple of weeks to work out on a regular basis with this doctor. Clearly he (Sullivan) believes this is just a matter of time.”
“All this announcement does is clarify for our fans, our players. It takes away any realistic hope that he’s going to be back this season, so this is what we have.”
On Sullivan’s long-term prognosis…
“The good news is that he has every intent to be 100% and ready for next year.”
“Sully said he understands what he needs to do, the exercises he needs to do and the strength that he needs to get to. He just needs more time. There’s no hesitation with Sully as to thinking it’s over (his career).”
On why Sullivan is heading to Seattle to continue his rehab…
“He wants to go up there (Seattle) because he believes this guy has a little bit of different exercises. There seems to be a lot of high-performance athletes that he (the doctor) has been working with.”
“They’re (Sullivan and the doctor in Seattle) doing core exercises but they’re different. He thinks the difference (in exercises) will make a difference. I think he probably thinks the environment will make a difference.”