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?

Im 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 Ive pushed to come back as early as possible and sometimes that catches up with you, so now Im 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 didnt help, he said. Now Im 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, Im going to re-evaluate it. Im not sure how long that is going to take. It doesnt feel great right now, but who knows what its going to feel like by Christmas or next summer.

He admits theres no guarantee hell ever play again.

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

But because Im 30 theres still time. If I was 36 or 37 Id 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 Ill make that decision at that time.

If I do get healthy I dont want to come back and play with pain; I want to play and play well. Ill have to make that decision at a later date.

Comries 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 Id 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, its 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 its sore. I cant train like I want to. Id 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. Comries totals sagged over the last few seasons as a result.

You cant protect it. Ive played with a broken hand and a separated shoulder, you can protect those things on the ice, but when its your hip you cant get to the puck as fast as you normally can, you cant get into positions that you used to be able to. You start to play the game differently and I dont think anybody wants to do that.

robert.tychkowski@Sunmedia.ca

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