Capitals

Capitals

Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner says he expects to be fully recovered from the sports hernia and groin muscle injury that ended his playoffs when training camp begins late next month.

Right now, though, he’s operating at about 85-percent.

"I was working out after the first week [following the procedure], which was fast," Alzner said. "The hernia is going to be fine. The only thing is the groin; I’m still waiting for that to be 100-percent."

Alzner provided the update Monday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after joining teammates Nicklas Backstrom and Stanislav Galiev for an informal skate.

"I can do everything now, but I’m just maybe a half step slow because I can’t get the full extension with the power, the little kick at the end," Alzner said. "Once I get that kick back, then I’m 90-100 [percent]. So, I’m close."

The 27-year-old had the procedure done in June, right around the time his wife, Mandy, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a boy.

Alzner said the team’s medical staff suspects the sports hernia contributed to the groin tear he suffered in Game 6 against the Penguins.

"What happens typically, from my understanding, is you get some sort of instability in your lower abdominal muscle, which they call a sports hernia, and that leads to guy’s hips going and groins going," Alzner said. "It was all kind of one big mashup. I knew I was feeling a little something for over a year, but it was only doing specific exercises in the gym, never anything on the ice."

 

"And then," he continued, "I felt my groin start to go in that Philly series. Then the hernia started to really kick in because I lost the stability of the muscle. It was terrible timing."

Assuming Alzner’s recovery stays on track, he’ll extend his franchise record iron man streak of 458 consecutive games played when the regular season begins in Pittsburgh on Oct. 13. This also marks the final season of the four-year contract Alzner signed in 2013.