When the Vancouver Canucks starter netminder Roberto Luongo went down with an apparent groin strain during the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 22nd, the hope after the initial diagnosis was that he would only be out for a few weeks. Things were looking up for a possible return to the crease last night versus the Oilers but that all changed when on Wednesday, Louongo left practice early after suffering what is being called a “setback”.
Roberto spoke to the media today on his injury, specifcally the fact that he now does not know when he will be ready to return and when he does he will have to take it easy:
“There’s no timetable – it’s week to week. It’s tough to say with injuries, especially for myself. This is the first time I’ve dealt with a groin injury and just when I thought I was kind of ready to get back into it, my groin was telling me something else. It’s learn as you go here and I’m going to take it a bit slower this time around to make sure when I do get back on the ice, that there’s not going to be a point where I’m going to have to stay off. I want to make sure I’m on the ice the rest of the way.”
Physiotherapist Marc Rizzardo of Metrotown Physiotherapy and a SportMedBC Board member has worked with elite athletes for 20 years and we’ve asked him for his comments on preventing and rehabbing the often very problematic groin injury.
From my perspective, many athletes who have groin problems have significant problems in pelvic alignment and stability. Usually some type of muscle imbalance is at play. In my experience in the past 4 years with the National Women’s Soccer Team, many of the players had to improve their core stability and make sure that their pelvic stability was sufficient to allow them to play at their peak level.
The other factor dealing with elite athletes is that most need to be reigned-in in terms of their return to play. All are eager to return and the decision should be taken out of their hands. Although the athlete needs to be involved in the decision, many times they will want to return before they are ready to. If that occurs, they are likely to sustain a secondary injury to another part of the body because they will be favouring the initially injured body part.
As of today the Canucks have announced no specific date for Luongo’s return. You can read more on the Luongo story in the Globe and Mail.