Photo: Amanda Bowen
In May, Dmitry Orlov suffered a broken left wrist at the 2014 World Championships, ending the young defenseman’s first appearance on the top Russian national team early. Though hampered by the injury over the summer, Orlov rehabilitated in New York City with former Caps forward Alex Semin before coming to Washington for training camp.
Orlov originally was slated for an opening-night roster spot after being one of the team’s best defensemen last season. Orlov said his wrist is pain free, but he is still wearing a yellow non-contact jersey during training camp.
According to Orlov’s agent, Mark Gandler, the complicated nature of Dima’s surgery is at least part of the reason his rehabilitation has been taking so long.
“He injured his hand,” Gandler told Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport earlier this week, as translated by RMNB’s Igor Kleyner. “[Orlov] had a very difficult surgery at the end of May. An important bone was broken in several places, completely deformed. It was reshaped and fused together, otherwise he would have problems for the rest of his career. Rehab in such cases is at least four months. And in Orlov’s case, it seems it could be even longer.”
The four-month anniversary of the surgery was this past Monday.
In July, a Capitals spokesman told The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt that Orlov’s rehab would last around four months and he would “most likely” be completely cleared in September or October. That was an aggressive prediction, as surgeries like Orlov’s can require closer to six months of recovery.
The rehab process, according to the spokesman, will last around four months, estimated by [surgeon Dr. Charles] Melone based on Orlov’s improved range of motion following surgery; wrist surgeries of this nature typically carry a healing timetable between four to six months. Orlov suffered the injury on May 12 during a preliminary-round game against the United States and was quickly flown stateside from Belarus to be evaluated. He went under the knife less than two weeks later and “most likely will be completely cleared at some point in September or October.”
Also slowing the rehabilitation: Orlov’s doctors discovered an infection when they removed his cast in July, according to Prewitt’s report.
If Orlov’s rehab takes the full six months of the original, worse-case scenario estimate, it would keep him off the ice until November, about a quarter of the way into the season. After finally getting his big break last season, it’s unfortunate that Orlov has another hill to climb to finally play in the NHL full-time.
Translation by Igor Kleyner.
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