SUN Hockey Pool

Staios having surgery

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

Steve Staios is going under the knife.

Giving up on rehabbing his injured left knee with the hope of returning this year, the veteran defenceman has decided to have surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap.

"I feel comfortable with the decision (to have surgery)," said Staios yesterday.

"We have taken some time to think about it and do the right thing.

"You almost feel good about the decision (to have surgery). You know you can get it fixed and get it done and put in the time for the rehab and hopefully come back better than ever."

There isn't a date for the surgery yet, but the recovery time is slated to be four months - so Staios doesn't believe he'll miss the start of next season.

The 11-year NHL veteran had the option of continuing rehab throughout the spring and summer with the hope of coming back for training camp.

But after failed rehab attempts, the decision for surgery seems to be based on very sound logic.

"My decision is that I don't want to get myself in a situation where maybe we are in some important games (next year) or going into the playoffs and have it happen (the injury again)," he continued.

"I want to take all that sort of risk out of the way."

Staios has missed six straight games since aggravating the injury against Tampa Bay on Mar. 7.

"I had a knee-on-knee hit, which irritated it," he recalled of the hit near centre ice. "It is one of those things where it is a little bit painful, but mostly you don't feel it.

"You feel it sliding. You don't quite have the stability.

"That was a very, very frustrating thing for me."

It came on the heels of Staios missing seven games after Christmas.

"During the season I had a couple of weeks where I rehabbed and came back and felt good - but not for very long," remarked Staios.

"There was a short stretch of maybe five or six games, but then it kind of went back to where it was."

Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish seems to be very supportive of the decision to have the surgery done soon.

"In our own minds we have got to get it fixed so we can properly evaluate him for how much that was impacting his game," said MacTavish.

"He was clearly not the same player the last few weeks playing through the injuries.

"So, hopefully this is the thing that can get it sorted out and he'll be able to get back to being healthy."

While the 33-year-old waits for a date for the operation, he's pressing on with keeping in shape.

"The fitter you can be going into it (surgery) the quicker the recovery," he explained. "I am working hard and doing rehab every morning."

Picture this!

Sebastien Bisaillon might never become a regular player with the Edmonton Oilers.

In fact, tonight might be the final regular-season game he ever plays in the NHL. But his face will forever be visible in the Oilers' locker room.

Although he has played just one game with the club, the 20-year-old emergency call-up from the QMJHL was in the annual Oilers team photo yesterday at Rexall Place.

A copy of that photo will eventually make it to the wall in the dressing room.

"It is really special," he said after yesterday's practice.

"I think I am going to have to be sent down to realize what I lived here."

After playing 19:15 in his NHL debut on Monday night, Bisaillon will likely play this evening.

Then he is likely to be sent back to Val d'Or for the start of their playoffs on Friday.

JHUNTINGTON@EDMSUN.COM

"WE HAVE TAKEN SOME TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT AND DO THE RIGHT THING. YOU ALMOST FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE DECISION (TO HAVE SURGERY)."

-- STEVE STAIOS


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