In a season that some described as injury-plagued failure, the beginning of the Detroit Red Wings offseason has been somewhat fitting. Danny Cleary will have surgery to repair damage in his left knee; that same left knee that had to be drained multiple times throughout the season and caused him to miss significant time. Cleary missed 7 games in 2012 due to his knee issues, but the injury had more of an impact than just missed time.
Cleary registered zero points and a -1 overall +/- in the five game playoff series against the Nashville Predators. He also had only 33 points this season, his lowest season total since his first season in Hockeytown. I would imagine that his ailing knee had something to do with the lower output.
Cleary says he wishes he had performed the surgery earlier. Hindsight may be 20/20, but in this case it makes some sense. Cleary spend most of the season hoping the knee would get better, and placed bandaids on it rather than fixing the actual issues. The knee drainage took away the square footage, but not the immense pain, especially when making sharp cuts on the ice. At one point during the season, Cleary had to get his knee drained every 10 days or so.
Some of Cleary’s quotes make it seem like a minor miracle he was on the ice at all. “I have some significant issues going on,” Cleary said. “They’ll know more when they get in there. There are a lot of different things in there, there are some tears in there, loose cartilage, some bone on bone, a lot of fluid – the build-up of fluid was a major issue – so hoping that we can get it resolved.”
Umm. Yeah. That doesn’t sound like fun.
Cleary seems optimistic going forward, and should be ready to go when training camp opens up.
Godspeed Danny, we need you.