Stars’ Robidas targeting mid-March for return from broken leg

By Michael Hamm on 2/09/2014 04:25:00 PM

Apples and oranges. That’s what a hockey player gets when he tries to compare his recovery time from an injury to that of another player.

Granted, time tables for recovery are set according to years of trial and error – and although medical technology grows by leaps and bounds every year, and the treatments for many afflictions have improved immeasurably through time, a broken bone is still a broken bone – and bones knit themselves back together at their own pace.

So when Dallas Stars’ defenseman Stephane Robidas sought out the advice and fellowship of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos regarding the recovery time and expectations for returning to action, a broken bone was all they had in common.

Stamkos broke his tibia in Boston on November 11th and had targeted an early February return, which was the best-case scenario, but tests last week revealed that the bone hadn’t healed enough to be cleared by team physicians – also meaning that his hopes of playing for Team Canada in the Sochi Olympics were in the toilet.

When Robidas not only broke his tibia, but also his fibula, the prognosis was that he would be out four to six months, possibly losing the entire rest of his season, and he obviously sought out Stamkos to plant a seed of hope in his own mind about a possible return.

«For me, I thought it was the end of the world. I thought my season was over and I had no contract, and I was worried about all of that stuff,” Robidas told beat writers on Thursday. “But I have had a lot of support from family and teammates, and that’s helped a lot. I’ve realized how lucky I have been and how lucky I am. I really do feel I can come back stronger than ever right now.

Robidas is targeting a mid-March return, but a lot stems from an MRI that is scheduled for Valentines Day, but he is optimistic about such a return due to how well he’s performing in practices.

“When I started (skating again), I didn’t do any stops and starts and couldn’t pivot.» he continued, «Saturday, I could pivot. Then, yesterday, I could do some stops – not full speed, but some stops. And then today, I did a practice with the guys. I’m not ready to go, but it’s ahead of schedule.” 

It must be remembered that Robidas is 37 years old, not a spry 23 like Stamkos, and also that Stamkos was skating and practicing and taking contact before being shut down by doctors last week, so the veteran blue liner should be prepared for whatever the news is with his tests next week.

«One of the things I miss most is being on the ice and being with the guys, so this has been great,” he said of taking a road trip last week and practicing with his teammates. “I can’t wait to get back here and really start to help them again.”