Erik Karlsson says doctors removed ‘half my ankle bone’

Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson attends practice and runs some drills despite trying to get back to health after off-season surgery on his foot.

Erik Karlsson has revealed some gritty details about his off-season surgery but his rehab period may be shorter than initially expected.

The Ottawa Senators captain underwent a procedure that removed part of his ankle bone and replaced it with an artificial tendon, according the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan. The surgery kept him off his feet all summer which has delayed the start of his training camp.

While Karlsson says he’s not fully comfortable yet, he doesn’t think it will affect his performance on the ice.

“I wouldn’t call it pain,” Karlsson said according to Brennan. “I can’t say that it feels normal, but it’s no sharpness or anything that’s going to affect me.

“It feels like I have a leather piece in my one ankle. You can’t really move it. It’s going to take some getting used to. I feel I can manage it pretty well right now. Hopefully it’s just going to get better and better.”

When asked if the procedure would put him at risk of re-injuring the ankle, Karlsson said worrying about that won’t do him any good.

“It’s like you break a bone and when it heals, it heals,” he said. “They took half my ankle bone out so the part that is there should be as normal as possible.

“You get a shot there and there’s always the risk of you breaking it, whether it’s the same ankle or something else. It’s not something I’m worried about. Hopefully I can block a little bit different.”

Now that he’s back practising only Karlsson can decide when he’s ready to return. He says he won’t be ready for opening day next week, but his goal is to be back with the team as soon as he can.

“It’s been four months since I’ve skated,” Karlsson said. “I’m going to need a little bit of time to get adjusted, to just being able to skate as well as these guys do right now. Hopefully once the (pre-season) games are over here and the regular season is about to start, I’m going to be able to skate a little bit more, and take a little bit more reps. Then we’ll see where it goes from there.”

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