Ottawa Senator fans are having flashbacks to February of 2013, when star defenseman Erik Karlsson received surgery on his achilles. He only played 17 games of the 2012-13 season, and worked very hard to recover. Since then, he’s only missed a handful of games.
The 27-year-old has been the best part of Ottawa since he joined the team, and his consistency has been a blessing for the team. However, an injury sustained during the Stanley Cup Playoffs might have him missing a few more games. It was announced Wednesday that Karlsson is going to have surgery to repair torn tendons in his foot. According to the Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, Karlsson will need about four months to recover. This leaves him in doubt for the start of the season in October.
The injury was discovered during an MRI taken after the season. It’s not certain when Karlsson suffered these injuries, but they could be linked to hairline fractures he received in late March. Karlsson played through those fractures, without it ever being announced that he received treatment.
Erik Karlsson to Receive Surgery on Foot; Could Miss Start of Next Season
The NHL hasn’t released an official schedule yet, but the season will likely start in mid October. This is right around when Karlsson should get the “Okay” to play. It’s hard to know if he’ll hit that time table though. After suffering a 70 percent tear to his achilles tendon in 2013, his stellar skating abilities decreased by a bit. Now, he’s had another serious injury in his feet. The first injury would be enough to make a less determined player retire. Piling on a tendon tear a few years later isn’t the best for someone whose skating is a critical part of their game.
The Senators are obviously hoping Karlsson returns in time for next season, and without any consequences. He’s been the best player on their team for a while, without any slowing down. Last season, Karlsson placed third amongst all defensemen in points. He also played the fewest games out of any of the top ten d-men. In 77 games, he had 71 points. The team’s playoff run could also be heavily credited to Karlsson. In 19 games, he had 18 points; the most out of any defenders, and sixth out of all skaters.
Karlsson’s ability to join the rush and be able to set up plays in the offensive zone has been a crucial part of the Senators offensive mindset. The two time Norris Trophy winner, team captain, and three time All-Star is easily one of the best defensemen in the game today. Considering his recovery from the 2013 injury, it’s even more impressive to see him playing so well. He’ll hopefully come back from this next surgery stronger than ever.
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 21: Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) passes the puck during the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 21, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)