Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning announced today that Derek Dorsett will not return to the active roster due to health reasons as a result of playing. Dorsett, under the care of head team physician Dr. Bill Regan and director of rehabilitation Dr. Rick Celebrini were unable to address an ongoing condition.
In December 2016 a cervical disc herniation surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins. However, the rehabilitation efforts led by Doctor Regan and Celebrini corrected the condition enough for Dorsett to start the 2017-18 season. Although healthy recently, the neck and back pain resurfaced, forcing Dorsett into retirement. Dorsett announced that he will be available for media contact later this week.
Dorsett Retires Due To Injuries
Dorsett Devastated But Hopeful For The Future
“I’m devastated by the news. It will take a long time for this to truly sink in. As hard as it was to hear, Dr. Watkins’ diagnosis is definitive. There is no grey area, and it gives me clarity to move forward. I have a healthy young family and a long life of opportunities ahead of me. Hockey taught me a lot and it will help me be successful in whatever I choose to do in the future.”
He continued his statement, “I still have so many thoughts to share and people to thank for all of their support.” Additionally, Dorsett said. “What I can say for certain right now is that I left it all out on the ice. I gave my heart and soul to the teams I played for and never backed down from a challenge, including this one. I am proud of the way I played. It made me successful and a good teammate. Most of all I am truly honored and grateful to have lived the NHL dream.”
Rehabilitation Efforts Unable To Resolve Condition
Dorsett’s medical team dedicated to resolving his condition were unable to do so. In relation to the risks associated with continuing to play, Dr. Robert Watkins said the following about Dorsett’s condition and the risk associated with continuing to play.
“The latest evaluation of Derek’s neck revealed that he’s sustained a cervical disc herniation adjacent and separate to his previous fusion,” said Dr. Watkins. “Given his current condition and the long-term, significant health risks, I advised Derek not to return to play.”
Dorsett played 515 games for three teams: the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Vancouver. Dorsett enjoyed a great start to the season. He had nine points in the first 20 games, lighting the lamp seven times with two assists.
The Canucks turned around from the 2016-17 season with an 11-10-4 record. Dorsett’s play has been a key element to the turnaround. Furthermore, Dorsett’s departure leaves the recently successful Canucks looking to fill his spot on the roster.