Leafs can't handle truth

Leafs captain Mats Sundin is set to see a doctor in Sweden about his hip next week and would prefer...

Leafs captain Mats Sundin is set to see a doctor in Sweden about his hip next week and would prefer having the surgery at home. (Sun File/Dave Thomas)

STEVE SIMMONS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Mats Sundin has a torn labrum in his hip. That is a fact.

Two sources in the local medical community have confirmed the injury.

And that, by itself, should separate some of the truth from fiction, denial from reaction after a noisy and crazy day of over-reaction on the Maple Leafs front.

Sundin needs surgery: What we don't know for certain is what kind of surgery.

If he has cartilage damage in the area, the surgery can be career-threatening. If there is no cartilage damage, it is a form of arthroscopic surgery, not in any way career-threatening, but with a three-to-six week recovery period.

Sundin is set to see a doctor in Sweden next week and would prefer having the surgery at home.

There are three world-renowned hip specialists favoured by professional athletes. One of them happens to be in Sweden. By having his surgery at home, Sundin can do his rehabilitation without disrupting his off-season. Those are the facts as we know them.

Almost everything else going around has been lies, spin agenda-driven half-truths.

Begin with John Ferguson, the Leafs general manager. When first confronted with the report of Sundin's injury, Ferguson told TSN that the story broken by the Sun was "100%" inaccurate. By yesterday, he called it "speculative and sensational" on his own blog and earlier told the Sun's Mike Zeisberger that the reports were premature.

Now, the question is, as it always seems to be, what the hell was Ferguson saying?

First he said there was no injury, then he said there might be an injury, then he said the reports of surgery were premature. So what is it?

If the Leafs weren't concerned about the apparent "leaking of information" regarding Sundin's status then tell me why someone from the organization called a local physician yesterday, accusing him of leaking the story to me.

If there was no story, there was nothing to leak.

Now fast forward to J.P. Barry, the player agent who was not necessarily under oath when speaking with various media outlets yesterday.

In fairness to Barry and Ferguson, they have been trying to get a deal done for Sundin and the Leafs. It's slightly embarrassing for Ferguson, caught in another negotiation with an aging player whose body is showing signs of breaking down.

Can you say Ed Belfour?

Meanwhile, Barry did a lot of singing and dancing yesterday. He is, after all, an agent.

For example, Barry said he spoke with Sundin yesterday, who allegedly was upset about what he called someone "sabotaging" the negotiations with the Leafs. Now that is rich.

But anyone who knows Sundin also knows Sundin would never talk in those terms. That's not him. Those were Barry's words, not Sundin's.

One other thing: It's amazing that Barry found Sundin in Europe yesterday and had a conversation when two of Sundin's closest friends have been unable to reach him at all. And he always takes their calls.

Ferguson calls the notion of Sundin having a torn labrum as "frivolous" but the truth is, the Leafs captain will turn 37 next season. There is no such thing as minor surgery when you're in the twilight of your career.

There is such a thing as panic and spin: It is the Maple Leafs. It is all they know. And truth be damned.


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