Stars defenseman Sergei Zubov has had a long summer. Rehabbing his surgically-repaired core has been the focus of his off-season and the good news is that it looks like he has healed up well.
The Stars lost Zubov to injury in Game Six of their playoff series against the Canucks and he was unable to go for Game Seven at Vancouver. He had surgery to repair a sports hernia the next week and was put on a rehabilitation schedule to get ready in time for Training Camp, which begins on September 14 in Frisco.
Zubov was basically not able to do much for about a month after the surgery, something a professional athlete who lives for working out does not like much.
“It was tough to do basically nothing for a while,” Zubov said. “I started running after a month. It was pretty hard at the beginning but any rehab is. I started by running at the beach, actually, while I was in Cabo San Lucas, running in the sand.”
Zubov was also given abdominal exercises to do over the summer and there is no question that he was a good patient and did what he needed to do.
“You could tell when Zubie returned to Dallas that he put in the time to rehab his injury over the summer,” said Stars Head Trainer Dave Surprenant. “He was doing core stabilization exercises every day, in different stages to get him where he needs to be. He did his running and his conditioning and is in good shape. I think he had to give up some of his tennis that he enjoys playing until he was healed. He’s a little bit leaner than he has been in the past but that will be put back on soon enough.”
Zubov has been skating with his teammates in Frisco getting ready for camp and feels good.”
“I’m fine. I’m not going to do any real difficult moves right now or push anything over the limit but I’m OK,” Zubov said. “So far, so good. The doctors seem to be happy with the progress the injury has made.”
Added Surprenant, “From a surgery standpoint he put a lot of good time in and the injury is now behind him. He has no limitations at this point and should be fine for training camp and the season.”
Zubov, who turned 37 in July, has always kept his body at an optimum fitness level. He was asked if getting older has made it tougher to maintain.
“No, not really. I’m doing what I’ve always done, actually,” Zubov said. “I know my body and I know what it responds to with my workouts. I’ve always worked out and kept in good shape. I’ve always had good control over my body for my career and that has been a key for me.”
Zubov signed a one-year extension over the summer to keep him under contract with the Stars through the 2008-09 season. He was happy to add another year to his deal with the Stars
“It’s another opportunity to prove myself and show that I’m still going. It’s another chance to have another successful season and have success in the playoffs again,” he said. “I love Dallas. I like winning, I like our team – it has personality and character. I’m glad we didn’t make many changes (to the roster). We’ve added a couple of guys. We went through a lot last year and I think we’re a good team. It’s exciting to get back to playing hockey.”
Though he had a busy summer with rehab, he found the time to relax a bit too.
“(Our family) went on a couple of trips,” Zubov said. “We went to Moscow for a month and that was fun. We were able to see some family and friends. It was our first trip back there in four years and it was good.”
But the beginning of September means it is time for hockey to get going – one of Zubov’s favorite times of the year.
“The summer has been too long and it was tough to do nothing for a couple of months,” he said. “I’m ready for the season to get going. It should be another fun season.”