Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’


Steven Stamkos has an extra spring in his stride.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain, who suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery early last season, has begun skating with teammates ahead of training camp following a failed attempt to return for a playoff push in the spring.

It’s hard to say whether he’s game-ready at this point, but he’s certainly chomping at the bit to find out.

“When you’ve been through the tough stretch that I’ve been through in the last four or five years, it’s tough to know what 100 percent is,” he told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. “I don’t think I will know, but like I said it’s the best its felt since the surgery, way better than where I ended the season off before the season ended when I was on the ice with the guys.

“It’s just been getting better and better every day and I can see it continually doing so. It’s just exciting. I haven’t looked this forward to a training camp in a long time. I feel like I’ve put in the work and am seeing the results.”

Stamkos added he believes his meniscus was partially torn prior to succumbing to the season-ending injury and going under the knife, and that it was the toughest rehabilitation process of all his injuries.

He missed a large chunk of 2013-14 with a leg injury, as well as the majority of the 2016 playoffs with a blood clot.

In 17 game prior to the injury, Stamkos scored nine goals and added 11 assists.

“My expectations are that I’m going to get back to that player,” he said, per Smith. “Hopefully it’s right away. That’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes.”



CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he’s looking forward to a lighter, more confident Cam Newton testing out his surgically repaired throwing arm on Wednesday night.

Newton reported to training camp on Tuesday at Wofford College at 246 pounds – lighter than he has been in years – and Rivera said the league’s 2015 MVP is on schedule in his rehab and should be ready to practice right away.

”Cam had a good week last week (throwing) from what I understand,” Rivera said. ”So I am excited to see him in action.”

Rivera said head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion has a plan for Newton this summer, but wouldn’t elaborate on the details. But it’s clear the Panthers will limit his reps in some capacity, at least at the beginning of training camp.


Pat Miletich provided a positive update on the health of fellow UFC Hall of Famer, Matt Hughes, during a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

Miletich said Hughes is out of a coma five-and-a-half weeks after his truck was slammed on the passenger side by an oncoming train on June 16.

“He is surprising the doctors,” Miletich said, according to’s Dave Doyle. “He’s making great leaps and he’s no longer in a coma, and he’s improving. It’s going to be a long road. Any type of head trauma at that level, there’s going to be some rehab.”

Miletich also shed some light on how exactly the accident happened.

“The (train) engineer said, Matt had stopped on the gravel road,” Miletich said. “It’s a hill, goes up, it’s a real quick hill that goes up to the railroad tracks. He had stopped, then tried to get across it in time. The train was going almost 50 mph.

“When you’re out in the country, there’s no crossing guards, there’s no lights. It’s almost like, he saw it, then tried to beat it. What I would say is that, you’re on a gravel road out in country on a hill and you’re trying to punch it and get over, you’re going to swing tires, he didn’t get across in time and got clipped on the passenger side.”

Miletich said he’s yet to visit Hughes in the hospital, but expressed his belief the former UFC welterweight champion will be back to his old self in time.

“Nobody is allowed to visit him besides family,” Miletich said. “That’s it right now. They don’t want to overload him, they want his energy to go to healing and not to anything else.

“I’m 100 percent sure he’s going to make a full recovery.”


When the Edmonton Oilers inked forward Zack Kassian to a three-year deal last month, it did a lot more than just secure their bottom-six forward group.

It signified that the 26-year-old has finally turned a page on his battle with alcohol addiction, and in the process revived a career that once looked to be nearing its end, something Kassian credits to Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli.

“It doesn’t happen without Peter Chiarelli, who gave me the opportunity,” Kassian told Jason Gregor of

“I told him that day I was going to prove to him he made a right decision and today we’re sitting here with a new contract. I still feel I need to keep proving myself. It doesn’t stop now that I have the new deal. I just need to keep working and proving people right.”

Despite rarely finding the score sheet, Kassian serves as a key contributor for the Oilers, playing with an exuberant edge while occasionally chipping in with a timely goal, assist, or scrap to fire up his team.

In 79 regular-season games last season, Kassian registered seven goals and 17 assists to go along with 201 hits – good for 23rd-most in the NHL.

With his foreseeable future now secure in the City of Champions, Kassian realizes that it’s time to prove that his battle with alcohol is behind him for good.

“For me, I made a promise to my family, to the Edmonton organization, and, most importantly, to myself that I wasn’t going to drink again, and as soon as I made that decision I feel like that’s when everything started climbing back upwards,” Kassian said.

“I feel like if your mindset is you’re not going to drink again, you’re not going to drink again. You make a tough decision and stick with it. I think that’s where I’m at now with it. Obviously, I have a lot to lose, which helps with the team we have in Edmonton.”


More than two weeks after his truck was struck by a moving train, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes no longer needs a ventilator and is showing “small signs of improvement,” his sister Beth Hughes Ulrici announced Tuesday on Facebook, according to MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi.

The incident occurred on June 16 in Raymond, Ill., near his hometown of Hillsboro, after Hughes drove his truck over train tracks.

The vehicle was hit on the passenger side, and Hughes was subsequently transported to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. The UFC legend did not sustain any broken bones or internal injuries, although he’d been only slightly responsive since being stabilized.

State police are still investigating, Raimondi reports.

Hughes held the UFC welterweight title on two occasions between 2001 and 2006. He’d recently entertained a return to the Octagon after retiring in late 2011.


SUNRISE, Fla. – Roberto Luongo showed up for Florida Panthers training camp on Thursday sporting a thick beard, a stark contrast from the goaltender’s usual look.

”Too lazy to shave,” Luongo quipped.

A more likely reason is that he was too busy rehabbing.

The Panthers have already gotten their first win of the season. Luongo, who was expected to need up to six months to recover from a May surgery to repair a tear in one of his hips, is ahead of the original schedule and cleared to be on the ice when the reigning Atlantic Division champions hold their first practice of camp on Friday.

”Good to go,” Luongo said. ”A lot of hard work over the summer, but I’m really happy with the way things progressed. Going into it I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go, but I’m excited to be here, first day of training camp and with a clean bill of health.”

Luongo was told that he would need to use crutches for a month after the procedure, unable to put weight on the hip or even drive.

That lasted about two weeks.

”I’m ahead of my schedule,” Luongo said.

That beard of his has more than a few flecks of gray in it, which explains the urgency Luongo has at this point in his career. At 37, his window for winning a Stanley Cup obviously isn’t as wide-open as it once was. So he rehabbed for 3-4 hours a day, wearing down the floor of his pool by doing so much running in there during his rehab. There wasn’t even time for a vacation, other than a week to go see family.

”Wasn’t much rest this summer,” said Luongo, who has been doing some on-ice work for about six weeks.

Luongo is going into his 17th NHL season, yet still coming off a year that was one of his best.

He saved 92.2 percent of the shots he faced, the third-highest clip of his long career. Luongo finished with a 2.35 goals-against-average, posted four shutouts and was one of five goalies who earned votes in the NHL MVP balloting.

Most notably, after his first seven seasons with Florida ended with the Panthers missing the playoffs, Luongo helped get them back to the postseason. The Panthers, who weren’t sure if Luongo would be ready for opening night, addedJames Reimer over the summer and the sense is that Reimer may get a few more starts than Florida backups have gotten in the past.

”You’ve got to think of the big picture,” Luongo said. ”As much as I’d love to play 70 games still, I don’t think that’s wise.”


Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has yet to get full medical clearance to participate in practice after tearing his ACL in training camp last season.

While the 31-year-old won’t be cleared to for 11-on-11 drills until July, he believes he could play much sooner.

“If there’s a game Sunday, I’m playing,” Nelson told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on Thursday.

The Packers are being cautious with Nelson’s return after they struggled to fill his role last season. The veteran receiver also missed time the season before, but would rather not have to go through the process again.

“I can’t sit here and say it’ll be an easy adjustment,” Nelson said. “A couple years ago, I missed pretty much 90 percent of training camp and came back a week before the regular season and had a good year. I think our first game was at San Francisco, and I had over a hundred yards. So, I mean, it’s there. I was in the meetings, I know everything. I think that’s a huge standpoint. I think just him getting comfortable again with myself, and vice versa. We have an extra week of training camp to figure that out, so we’ll be fine.”

Green Bay will get an extra week of training camp due to their participation in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game.