Former Canadien James Wisniewski (centre) during the Columbus Blue Jackets’ morning skate at the Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Stubbs video capture
Columbus defenceman James Wisniewski is intimately aware of what Habs rearguard Andrei Markov is going through as he rehabilitates a second ACL reconstruction.
Wisniewski, who played 43 games for the Habs last season, has had three ACL reconstructions. Wiz was brought in through trade with the New York Islanders to fill in for the ailing Markov, then signed with Columbus as a UFA on July 1, a staggering six-year, $33-million contract.
The veteran said after Tuesday’s morning skate that it’s the mental side of rehabbing from two ACL rebuilds that’s probably hardest on Markov. Wiz had two ACL surgeries at age 23 and 24, injuries suffered 14 months apart. He had had another at age 18, tearing the ligament while playing for the U.S. in the under-18 world championship.
The rehab, he said of his own program and surely something close to that prescribed for Markov, “is gruelling. You know you’re going to feel better, then worse, then start (to improve). You want to do more but you can’t. It’s a waiting game. It’s a chess game, not checkers. It’s about getting the blood supply to the new ACL and that takes time.
“It was devastating … traumatic,” he added of having blown out the same knee twice in 14 months. “It was the mental grind, knowing I had six months of the same rehab.”
Full column is coming on Wisniewski, who returns to the Bell Centre Tuesday night for the first time since he left the Canadiens.
Here’s an interesting animation of how an ACL reconstruction can be done: