Hawks Insider

McCabe clarifies timeline after offseason spine surgery

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider
Jake McCabe

Some good news on the injury front: Jake McCabe has been skating with the Blackhawks for the first few days of training, albeit in a non-contact jersey, after undergoing cervical spine surgery over the offseason.

McCabe confirmed our original report that the surgery happened six weeks ago, but clarified that the 10-12-week timetable the Blackhawks put on him was from the time of the surgery and not from when the release was sent out on Sept. 13. That means he's about 4-6 weeks away from returning.

McCabe isn't expected to be ready for Opening Night on Oct. 12 vs. Colorado, but he's hoping it won't be too long after that he's back in action.

"I don’t think Opening Day’s quite realistic, but we’ll see," McCabe said. "I haven’t even had contact yet, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself. That’s going to be the real test with this injury. My legs feel good but the contact aspect, I've still got to wait a couple of weeks for full battle contact. I'm just trying to stay patient with that. As good as I do feel, I'm trying not to get ahead of myself and take a step backward."

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McCabe said it's an injury that he's been dealing with for four or five years on and off and it's been "a real pain in the rear." It was a herniated disc, to be exact, and the doctors took a disc fragment off that was hitting his nerve.

"I feel a lot better now and feel great on the ice, really," McCabe said. "It was a long summer. I was trying the conservative approach for a while and that wasn’t doing the trick. It became pretty clear that I had to get it operated on to get some relief and I did get that relief, so I'm feeling a lot better now."

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