Washington Capitals defender Karl Alzner is recovering from the sports hernia and groin injury he suffered from during the NHL playoffs this season. He got hurt during Game 6 in the second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins but had slightly felt the injury for over a year.
"What happens typically, from my understanding, is you get some sort of instability in your lower abdominal muscle, which they call a sports hernia, and that leads to guy’s hips going and groins going," Alzner said, from www.csnmidatlantic.com
. "It was all kind of one big mashup. I knew I was feeling a little something for over a year, but it was only doing specific exercises in the gym, never anything on the ice."
"And then," he continued, "I felt my groin start to go in that Philly series. Then the hernia started to really kick in because I lost the stability of the muscle. It was terrible timing."
Believed to be about 85% healthy, Alzner has been working out to get ready for training camp and prepare for the upcoming NHL season.
"I was working out after the first week [following the procedure], which was fast," Alzner said. "The hernia is going to be fine. The only thing is the groin; I’m still waiting for that to be 100-percent."
Alzner waited to have the procedure to fix the injury a few weeks after the season was over in June but he expects to be completely healed by the start of the season.
"I can do everything now, but I’m just maybe a half step slow because I can’t get the full extension with the power, the little kick at the end," Alzner said. "Once I get that kick back, then I’m 90-100 [percent]. So, I’m close."
Alzner expects to play an important role on Washington’s blueline again this season after being a key contributor last year. Averaging over 21 minutes during the regular season and the Capitals’ playoff run, Alzer tied his career high in points last year with four goals and 17 assists.