Commentary

Ear to the glass: The journey back

The road back from injury can be hard and depressing, but also hopeful and humorous

Updated: December 18, 2009, 2:31 PM ET
By Lindsay Berra | ESPN The Magazine
Martin BrodeurLen Redkoles/Getty ImagesBrodeur found that the mental part of being hurt was just as hard as the physical.

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is skating with the AHL Bridgeport Sound in an effort to return from off-season knee surgery. Bruins LW Milan Lucic missed a month with a broken finger, then returned, only to sprain his ankle. Devils D Paul Martin, originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks with his broken right arm, appears more likely to miss 11 or 12 weeks. The Red Wings have lost a whopping 132 man games to injury through 33 games. But as we approach the halfway mark, players are beginning to come off the IR. With that in mind, we talked to four players who have recently rebounded from extended absences due to injury (or are in the process) about the journey to getting back on to the active roster.

DOWN AND OUT

Martin Brodeur: I was home by myself. I came to the rink, they all say hi but they have their things to get ready for and you're really pushed aside. I remember I begged them to bring me on the road trip to Florida so I could be on the road with the guys and practice with them. But still, they put me in a locker room away from everybody so I wasn't disturbing anybody.


To hear directly from the players the internal and external struggles that go with returning from injury, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Lindsay Berra is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.