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Alex Newhook’s rehabilitation proves Habs medical staff has improved
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

In recent years, when a Habs player suffered an injury (which happened very often), you couldn’t expect much in the way of details. Upper body or lower body, there were rarely any precise explanations.

And when it came to the exact time of rehabilitation, it was also rare to get a precise window. This year, all that changed.

The Canadiens decided to hire Jim Ramsay as head athletic therapist last summer. Having worked miracles in New York with the Rangers, he has yet to work miracles with the Canadiens’ players, but the best we can say is that he has done an excellent job since his arrival.

Admittedly, the bar wasn’t very high in Montreal before his arrival. Longer-than-expected absences were often to be expected, as in the case of Sean Monahan last season. The Habs announced a three-week absence for Monahan, only to add two more and then never see him return for the rest of the season.

Ramsay has already proved that he’s working well with the rehabilitation of Alex Newhook. The Habs forward injured his ankle on November 30 against the Florida Panthers, and medical staff told him he’d be back in action within 10 to 12 weeks.

Newhook told The Athletic‘s Arpon Basu that when he heard the news, he immediately thought he’d be back 10 weeks later and circled the February 10 game on his calendar.

With hard work and rest, he had won his bet and was back exactly 10 weeks after his injury to play against the Stars. All because he kept hope alive and could believe in a real return date, something the Habs didn’t have before.

When Cole Caufield was injured at the start of 2023, you could sense that his morale was affected, and that’s mainly because he didn’t know exactly when he’d be back on the ice. The date of his potential return was very vague.

Newhook explained to Basu that the Canadiens’ medical staff had been superb during his rehabilitation because Jim Ramsay knows what every player likes. Ramsay even spent part of his All-Star Game leave with Newhook to help him through the process.

It doesn’t get talked about much, but Tanner Pearson was also injured in December and was expected to be out for six weeks. He was back after an absence of six weeks and one day. It was certainly good for him to finally be able to trust the team’s caretakers, as his final moments with the Canucks in Vancouver had been a nightmare.

The same was true of David Savard’s injury, for which he was expected to be out six to eight weeks. As expected, he was back in the line-up after seven weeks.

So it’s good to see that the players have confidence in their medical staff. It won’t prevent players from suffering injuries, but it will help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

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