The nagging hip and groin injury that has kept Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin out all season with the exception of four games will now result in surgery, according to Stars general manager Jim Nill. Nichushkin is expected to miss four months after the surgery.
Nichushkin has been battling this injury since before training camp began and was limited throughout the preseason before being placed on injured reserve just two games into the season. After missing nine games, Nichushkin returned for two games before being placed on injured reserve once more after the injury flared up again.
The second-year winger has never really appeared comfortable on the ice and didn't show any of the burst he had his rookie season, and it was clear he wasn't exactly "right" after trying to come back from his injury. With Nichushkin in and out of the lineup it was clear that either more rest would be needed, or surgery would become the better option.
Surgery it is. Per Mike Heika:
"We had it diagnosed, and decided surgery is the best thing," Nill said. "It's very similar to what (John) Klingberg had, and we expect it to have similar results.
Klingberg had double hip surgery in the summer and now is up and skating well.
"I didn't want to do it, I wanted to work on building strength in the summer," Klingberg said. "But now I feel much better and I am glad I did it."
Klingberg is a great example of how the surgery is supposed to play out; the defenseman had surgery at the end of last season and was back on the ice and skating in September. He wasn't fully healthy and comfortable, however, until mid-October -- a time period of around 4-5 months.
Using that same timeline, Nichushkin would be expected to return just before the playoffs begin in April next spring.