Luongo Aiming For Rapid Return From Hip Surgery
Luongo was recovering from hip surgery in May, the result of a torn hip labrum in early March, and a lengthy rehab was possible to leave the Panthers relying on the services of the newly-acquired James Reimer and Reto Berra as a one-two tandem for the early part of the season.
Now, though, it sounds like the veteran is more optimistic about his return.
“I’m excited, hopeful to be where I want to be when everything gets going,” Luongo said after an informal workout Wednesday morning at the IceDen in Coral Springs.
“I started skating Aug. 5 and there has been slow progression but we’ve ramped it up here the past week or so and it has been good.
“I’m not 100 percent; it’s a five month rehab. But I’m feeling better than I thought I would. I thought it would be a slower progression, especially on the ice. It has gone fairly quickly and I’m happy about that. If the season were to start tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t be able to go. But I feel good where I’m at and I’m excited about it.”
Richards also confirmed, via goaltending coach Rob Tallas, that things are looking optimistic. As Luongo heads into the fourth week of his on-ice recovery, there aren’t many limitations to what the starter can do; while there’s still time before he’ll be ready to return to the ice in a game-day situation, things are certainly looking good.
While talking about the recovery, Luongo and Tallas both admitted that the tear was something that was felt throughout the season; from an early-year twinge to a game in March where the 37-year-old starter felt his “whole side go out,” it seemed to be a year-long issue.
The groin twinges would go away, though, so Luongo seemed to think nothing of it, and according to Tallas, the team didn’t feel there was an injury that would have prevented him from playing or risked the veteran in any way.
Despite the injury, Luongo put up excellent numbers last year. He was good for a .922 unadjusted save percentage in all situations, helping the Panthers to the postseason for the first time since 2012 (and the second time since the turn of the century) even with an injury that required surgery to fix.
So while it’s good to hope that he’ll be ready to go sooner rather than later, caution certainly can’t hurt; after all, a healthy Luongo could only be better for the club in the long run.