Washington Capitals’ Training Camp begins on September 12, but Michal Kempny is unsure if he’ll be a full participant by then.
The Czech defenseman suffered a freakish injury late in the 2018-19 regular season, tearing his left hamstring during a March 20 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I just felt pop in my leg,” Kempny said of the moment when the injury occurred. “I felt really big pain.” After having surgery April 2, Kempny was said to have a timeline of four to six months to recover and has been rehabbing the injury ever since.
The end of that six-month prognosis would be the Capitals’ first regular-season game of the new year, the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup Banner-Raising Night on October 2, and Kempny is circling that date on the calendar with a big red marker.
“I’m getting there,” Kempny said of his injury to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir earlier this week. “I’m not 100-percent yet, for sure. I still need some time. If I’m going to make the (start of) training camp, that’s going to be great. But we’ll see. I have to go step-by-step, and I have to listen to the doctors and treatment guys. My goal is to be ready for the season.”
Kempny added that “I’m really missing it. I can’t wait to play hockey. I’m doing everything I can to be ready.”
Since returning, Kempny has been documented by El-Bashir doing on and off the ice work at his own pace with Capitals strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish.
#Caps D Michal Kempny, who is coming off a season-ending hamstring injury, is doing more this week, his second since returning from the Czech Republic. He’s still not skating with his teammates but it seems that good progress is being made. pic.twitter.com/d5LJK9bf7G
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) August 26, 2019
Kempny was aggressive about recovering as quickly as possible and tried many different treatments to rehab. On crutches during the team’s White House visit, Kempny did cryotherapy which helps to speed muscle recovery and release endorphins. During an early July trip to Croatia, Kempny said he was “getting stronger everyday.”
On July 23, the blueliner ran the steps of DRFG Arena – the home of his former Czech league team, HC Kometa Brno – showing off just how far he had come with his injured leg.
Since acquiring Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2018 deadline, the Capitals have won a Stanley Cup and watched the Czech blossom into a top-four defenseman, predominantly pairing with John Carlson.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.