On February 22nd, 2018, Martin Hanzal left the Stars versus Sharks game early with a lower body injury. Hanzal went through a spinal fusion surgery, the third of his career in March. Now a little over 8 months later, Martin Hanzal is expected to return to the Stars’ lineup.
“Now, I feel great. The pain that I had last year is pretty much gone. I’m still recovering from the procedure. That pain is almost gone. I’m on the right track.”
During the 38 games the centerman appeared in last season, he racked in 5 goals and 5 assists. Hanzal averaged 14:07 minutes on the ice per game and had a -14 in his short season. Hanzal had been on and off the injured reserve quite a bit last season. The final straw was Hanzal’s early departure on February 22nd. He had described the pain he felt as a “shooting pain in his left leg to his ankle.”
After months of hard work and recovery, Hanzal will be returning to the line up in no time. He has traveled with the team on their current road trip north of the border where the Stars have taken on the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and up next is the Vancouver Canucks, before returning back home.
This season, Hanzal will change numbers as well. Last season he was number 10, only because Curtis McKenzie had taken his favorite number, which is 11. Hanzal will return wearing number 11 and the reason why is because his name day (in the Czech Republic) is On November 11th. The eleventh day of the eleventh month.
There’s no word if Hanzal will for sure be returning in Saturday December 1st against the Canucks, but it is a good sign if he’s up there and practicing with the team. Upon return, Hanzal will start on the 4th line and work his way up to see where he fits best.
Featured Image: NHL.com