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Ouch: Jurcina to have double hernia surgery

Alex Ovechkin, Milan Jurcina,  Nicklas Backstrom

Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, right, celebrates with teammates Milan Jurcina (23), of Slovakia, and Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, in Washington. The Capitals won 6-4. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


Tarik El-Bashir reports that Washington Capitals defenseman Milan Jurcina will have double sports hernia surgery on Thursday. That sounds extremely uncomfortable (shifts in seat).

Anyway, Washington was able to get Jurcina back from Columbus at the trade deadline for next to nothing - a conditional sixth round pick in the 2010 - because word got out that the hard-hitting defenseman was having hernia problems. (It would be a lot more fun if teams were creative with these conditions, like the Blue Jackets get the pick if Jurcina could do a 30 second keg stand. Although maybe a man with hernia issues should stay away from such activities for a while.)

Jurcina’s swift return reminds me of the common NBA practice of a traded player returning to his previous team a month after being bought out. As you may recall, Jurcina was sent to Columbus with former Capitals captain Chris Clark for speedy left winger Jason Chimera.

The team claims that Jurcina is expected to be out 4-6 weeks, but El-Bashir notes that such a timetable might be a little bit too optimistic. Either way, Jurcina - while not being anywhere close to a game changing player - brings a needed physical element to the Caps’ defense. It will be interesting to see if he can get healthy in time for the playoffs to start.