Alfredsson to get back surgery
DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
|Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson was limited to just 54 games last season. (QMI Agency/Tony Caldwell)
OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson is about to have his second surgery in 13 months, and he’s feeling pretty good about it.
On Friday, the Senators captain will undergo an operation to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in his back. The problem forced the 38-year-old Swede out of the lineup last Feb. 7, and he has been unable to play a game since.
“I feel pretty good about the decision,” Alfredsson, who had sports hernia surgery at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season, told the Team 1200 Tuesday. “I’ve gone a long time rehabbing, and it’s a lot better than it was during the season, but it’s still acting up, and it’s still coming back when I really push myself more physically. So I feel pretty confident doing this, and coming back and feeling lot better than I did last year.”
Alfredsson is comfortable that the origin of the problem has been pinpointed. He was really starting to wonder what was going on when his body wasn’t responding to rest and treatment. Recovery time from the surgery, he’s been told, will be 4-6 weeks.
“I’ve had hip problems before, where I’ve been able to overcome it, this year it became worse,” said Alfredsson. “I started feeling a lot of tingling down my leg, my right leg felt really heavy at times. It was very frustrating. I wasn’t even confident that it was my back causing the problems. It was mostly in my hip and my leg where I felt it.
“Talking to the doctors and our medical staff, it just came to a point where I kind of realized I had a pinched nerve, and that’s what’s causing all the problems for me. The procedure is going to be where they will open up more room for the nerve to be able to slide.
“I’m obviously going to be on the cautious side (with recovery). If it takes 7-8 weeks, I’m fine with that. The timing is still pretty good, going into training camp, that I’ll be at 100%.”
How good the best Senator ever will be when he returns is another question — one that also has to do with the bigger picture. Alfredsson will be 39 in December, and while he led the team in scoring at the time he went on the shelf, his numbers were below his standard. Along with 31 points in 54 games, he was also a minus-19.
GM Bryan Murray, meanwhile, is confident Alfredsson will be able to bounce back from the surgery.
“I think his career work ethic, body type, makes us believe he’s got some time left,” said Murray. “It’ll probably be up to him when he doesn’t want to play anymore.
“More and more we’re seeing guys play longer. You saw Mark Recchi (score twice at age 43 Monday night), Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel, people who have looked after themselves over their career and have that emotional desire to continue to play, seem to be able to do it. I think 15 years ago we were encouraging guys to quit at 31, 32. Now we encourage them to play as long as they want to. I think Daniel will do that.”
How well the Senators performed after the trade deadline has Alfredsson enthused about getting back.
“Obviously, with the situation we were in, where we made some changes last year, and the direction we’re going, we’ve got to be really happy,” he said. “I don’t think I saw this coming, or really expected this.
“A lot of the young guys that came up did extremely well for us, and they’ve done extremely well in Binghamton. And (goalie) Craig Anderson was nothing short of spectacular.”