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Return of last year’s injured: beware of worsening injuries
In 2023-2024, the Canadiens will be counting on the return to action of several key players who missed most of last season. These include Carey Price Christian Dvorak (who may miss the first few games), Juraj Slafkovsky, Sean Monahan, Arber Xhekaj and Cole Caufield.

These guys have missed several weeks of activity, and the training camp starting soon, their off-season preparations, etc. will go a long way to helping them get back into game shape. But will they be 100% fit by October 11 in Toronto?

That’s a question that arises because each of them is coming back from serious injuries that took time to heal (almost) completely.

As Kent Hughes said in April, he’s not worried about their re-learning period. The problem is that some of them aren’t where they should be. And he’s right. A guy like Slafkovsky, who has enormous potential, only played 39 games in 2022-2023. Had he played more, he would have seen more tactical situations, for example.

André Lachance, former head coach of Canada’s women’s baseball team and now Director of Human Performance at Cirque du Soleil, isn’t worried, but he knows the risks.

When you come back after a long break, whether after surgery or not, you see a lot of injuries. Especially in the first few weeks. – André Lachance

You never want to expect an injury, but that’s the risk of the job and you have to expect that the guys named above won’t play up to their talent in the first few games.

Long live preparatory games and training camp, right?

Because as Mr. Lachance so aptly puts it, it’s one thing to practice on a treadmill or skate with two or three teammates, but to play in front of 20,000 fans against opponents who won’t give you a chance is quite another…

On the other hand, Jean Lemoyne, a professor of physical activity sciences at UQTR, sees things differently. This expert in the field is aware that field hockey players are professionals and extraordinary athletes. They have access to top-quality medical experts. I’d even add that they’re paid millions of dollars to stay fit and healthy, which adds a certain motivation.

Mr. Lemoyne sees no problem with their return to fitness. Good, because as André Lachance said, an NHL team may need the athlete to perform well, which leaves the recovery period shorter.

He did mention, however, that a guy like Cole Caufield, who had major shoulder surgery, may take a while to get his rhythm and confidence back. And that’s normal; we shouldn’t get impatient with the long-term injured players from last season.

They’ll have to find their rhythm again.

In brief

– Media availability for the golf tournament will begin around 8:30 a.m.

(Credit: Canadiens Public Relations on X)

– Read more.

– He did the right thing.

– Another one for Djoko.

– The Pats were in the mix.

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