DETROIT - To say it’s been a long, difficult 3 ½ months for center Stephen Weiss would be quite an understatement.
After undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia in December, Weiss was just one day away from returning to Detroit’s lineup when he suffered a frustrating setback.
“I was one day away then I ended up straining it again and I had to kind of go backwards there for a bit which was real tough to take,” Weiss said. “For whatever reason it’s been a tough year for me trying to get healthy. I’m going to keep pushing through and try and be available for whenever.”
Weiss was originally on track to return on his target date of Feb. 26, but had a bout with the flu that delayed his rehab.
The center was then prepared to participate in a one-game conditioning stint with Detroit’s minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids. After foregoing the game with the Griffins, though, Weiss endured a setback during practice on Monday, March 3.
The 30-year-old took at least one week off before slowly working his way back onto the ice, but still doesn’t have a target date of when he’ll return.
“I skated two days ago and wasn’t having that sharp pain I was having before so things have calmed down a little bit,” Weiss said. “Now it’s a matter of not getting to aggressive on it and thinking your fine and go out and do it again. You have to be somewhat smart. It’s tough to take at this point of the year. I understand the process.”
Weiss has missed 41 games due to the injury, dating from Dec. 12 to March 27. With just nine games remaining in the regular season, the center hopes his recovery continues to progress following the setback, and that he’ll be in the lineup sooner rather than later.
“Practice with the team,” Weiss said of his next step. “Skating (Saturday) will be my second time in a row. If all goes well I’ll keep ramping it up on the ice and hopefully be available to practice in not long and then find a way to squeeze back in the lineup.”
With youngsters such as Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and Tomas Jurco experiencing much success in the NHL, Weiss knows earning his spot back won’t be an easy task. But the center is willing to do whatever it takes to be ready when he is finally given the green light – for good.
“I’m going to do anything to be ready no matter if there are seven games left,” Weiss said. “I’ve skated once in the last 10 days or so and it felt better so that’s a real positive sign that things have calmed down and it’s healing again. Now it’s a matter of getting strong. It’s kind of that waiting process again. The positive thing was it was better the other day and I hope it keeps getting better and get myself ready to be available.”
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