Comrie's career on hold

Mike Comrie (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

Mike Comrie (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:45 AM ET

EDMONTON - Mike Comrie has no choice but to take things one step at a time.

What else can he do when it hurts to even walk?

“I’m just trying to get healthy,” said the former Oiler and 10-year NHL veteran, whose career is on hold, if not in jeopardy, while he struggles with severe hip pain. “In the past I’ve pushed to come back as early as possible and sometimes that catches up with you, so now I’m taking time to rehab it properly and do what I can to get healthy.”

Comrie had surgery to repair a torn right labrum (his second such procedure) last season and hurried back to re-join the Penguins playoff push in late March. Turns out it was too soon — Comrie was ineffective and the hip flared up again.

“I pushed myself too early and it didn’t help,” he said. “Now I’m facing rehab.”

He says the recovery time could take several months, if not the entire 2011-12 season.

“Because of the way I feel right now and the way my hip is, I’m going to re-evaluate it. I’m not sure how long that is going to take. It doesn’t feel great right now, but who knows what it’s going to feel like by Christmas or next summer.”

He admits there’s no guarantee he’ll ever play again.

“It’ll depend on how the rehab goes. Playing 10 years in the NHL, almost 600 games, there’s going to be some wear and tear for everybody. After a couple of surgeries there’s a greater chance of not being 100% again.

“But because I’m 30 there’s still time. If I was 36 or 37 I’d probably have a different mentality. Because I still feel young I just want to rehab it and see how I feel — if it takes six months or a year I’ll make that decision at that time.

“If I do get healthy I don’t want to come back and play with pain; I want to play and play well. I’ll have to make that decision at a later date.”

Comrie’s been bothered by a hip issues, tears in the right labrum, for about five years.

“Every time September rolled around I would have the mentality that if I stayed on top of it I’d be OK, but by Christmas for the last three or four years it would start to hurt again. Then it really started to deteriorate, and with the arthritis from the first surgery, it’s at a point where I feel it in my every day life.

“Before it was just when I was training or playing. But every season it got worse and worse. Now every day it’s sore. I can’t train like I want to. I’d just like to be able to walk without pain or run without a limp.”

A hip injury is one of the worst in hockey, limiting just about everything a player can do. Comrie’s totals sagged over the last few seasons as a result.

“You can’t protect it. I’ve played with a broken hand and a separated shoulder, you can protect those things on the ice, but when it’s your hip you can’t get to the puck as fast as you normally can, you can’t get into positions that you used to be able to. You start to play the game differently and I don’t think anybody wants to do that.”

robert.tychkowski@Sunmedia.ca

TWITTER.com/SUN_TYCHKOWSKI


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