VOORHEES, N.J. – Andrej Meszaros needs to go shopping for a new calendar.
That’s because the one he had has been torn up, stomped on and shredded.
“It’s a year I’d like to forget, that’s for sure,” Meszaros said Friday after another day of rehabilitating his surgically repaired left shoulder.
And who can blame him.
In the past 14 months, Meszaros had surgery to remove a disk fragment in his back, ruptured his Achilles tendon during an off season work out and subsequently had surgery to repair it, came back to play four games before suffering a left shoulder injury that cost him six weeks and then played seven more games before re-injuring the shoulder and having to endure yet another surgery.
This for a guy, who prior to that injury in March 2012 that started this string of bad luck, Had played in either 81 or 82 games in five of his first six seasons in the NHL.
Durability was never an issue. Now, it haunts him every day.
“It’s tough for sure,” Meszaros said. “It’s not like it was easy. I’m battling through it. I have time to recover now, but I have to learn to put it behind me and focus forward on the new season.”
“You don’t expect it to happen again, but you never know. The doctors did a great job on my shoulder and it should hold now. I have to look ahead and get back to playing hockey and can’t worry about it once the new season starts and not think about what could happen.”
In other words, Meszaros has to get past the notion that he is suddenly injury-prone.
The good thing is, that with the exception of the shoulder injury, nothing he has endured in the past year-plus has been chronic or recurring. All have been freak injuries.
And as for the shoulder, he gave it a rest for six weeks after the initial injury to see if it would hold up, and when it didn’t, he settled for the surgery.
So, it’s not like the shoulder is balky and constantly needs to go under the knife. Instead, Meszaros is ready to come back and have the kind of production he did in his first two seasons with the Flyers before all the injuries piled up.
And he think’s he can get there.
“It’s coming along nice and slow,” he said. “I’m feeling good. I’m doing a lot of work with the trainers… I’m seeing the doctor on Wednesday and we’ll see what he says.”
Meszaros is confident that the doctor will clear him to begin his offseason training activity.
“By the time training camp comes I should be ready to go,” Meszaros said.
As for getting to training camp, Meszaros wants to make sure he arrives this time in one piece.
“It’s going to change some,” he said of his offseason workout. “I still have to talk to the trainers and my guy back home in Slovakia and come up with a new plan, because it has to be different.”
Meszaros, 28, is signed for one more season with the Flyers with a $4 million cap hit before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
When healthy, Meszaros serves as a solid two-way defenseman who has a heavy shot from the point.
And although the Flyers expect to have a bit of a facelift to the roster this summer, Meszaros expects to be here next season and be a solid contributor to the team when the season kicks off in October.
“I’m sure the guys are going to put the season behind them and so am I,” Meszaros said. “I’m sure we’ll all have a good summer with a lot of time to recover and go to work in training camp for the new season. I think it’ll be a fun season for the Flyers and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
The Hallways of the Skate Zone are packed full of boxes and giant plastic tubs.
It's not because summer is fast approaching, but rather because the locker room area of Skate Zone is getting an extreme makeover.
When the team returns to Skate Zone in September, they will have a newer, bigger locker room, a giant lounge with a full service kitchen, better shower facilities and state-of-the-art rehab amenities and training rooms.
The coaches will also have new offices as will the equipment staff.
Renovations are expected to take between three and four months.
Offseason rehab and training will move to the Wells Fargo Center in the interim.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37
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