|Martin Havlat receives on-ice instructions from strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee. Photo: OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Martin Havlat's road to recovery hasn't been easy but the Senators forward remains in good spirits.
There have been hills to climb, and valleys to cross since the Nov. 29 game against the Montreal Canadiens when Havlat dislocated his right shoulder after being hit into the boards by Canadiens forward Michael Ryder.
Havlat is now back on the ice, rehabbing the injury under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee. The winger is slowly gaining more strength in the shoulder and he's excited to see some progress.
"It gets better every day," Havlat said during a break from a recent workout in the Senators weight room. "It's about small steps. It was slow in the beginning. I could do nothing for six weeks. This was major surgery. Now there are no restrictions (on his rehab limitations) so we're concentrating on the shoulder."
Havlat has been working all along on his lower body to ensure he wouldn't lose a step in his skating ability. While there's still pain in the shoulder, being able to pass around the puck with Lee and take some light shots on goal has given him more motivation.
"Those six weeks were kind of boring," Havlat said. "There were no steps, no progress. Now I can see I'm getting better."
Lee said rehabbing injuries is all about setting goals and achieving milestones.
"You have to get past those landmarks. Marty worked on his legs and his core strength and his other shoulder. Next he was able to skate, without contact of course. Now he's been given permission (to work on the injured shoulder), just no contact yet."
Havlat hasn't re-joined his teammates during practice. He has only skated with Lee, and on occasion with other Senators players recovering from injury.
The offensively gifted forward usually skates with Lee in the mornings before the Senators practices or pre-game skates. From there, he'll change and go through treatments with the Senators athletic therapists. Once that part of the day is over, Havlat will do some weight training in the gym with Lee.
"To his credit, Marty has pushed things every day," Lee said. "You set a target in advance and you have to make every day count."
For Havlat, there's a finish line in sight, and he plans to reach it.
"I'm just thinking playoffs," he said.