Groin tear, hernia, bruised pelvis.
Not exactly the hat trick Andrew Ference was looking for this postseason, but those were the ailments the Bruins’ defenseman battled at the end of an injury-riddled 2008-09 campaign.
Ference, who missed nearly two months stretching into the new year with a fractured tibia, tore his groin late in the regular season and missed the final days of the regular season and Boston’s first-round sweep of the Canadiens.
Ference returned for the first three games of the Carolina series before enduring the pelvis and hernia injuries that ultimately ended his season.
“Two out of the three have to get surgery, so they’ll finish off the groin and get the hernia patched up,” said Ference. “I’ll be back in a month to do that and that will give me enough time to recover for training camp.”
In a locker room that seemingly better resembled a MASH unit during the postseason, Ference utilized some medical magic to get back on the ice for the Carolina series — even if he wasn’t 100% — but he got hit in Game 3, which “messed up my pelvis and the hernia kind of came out of that.”
Added Ference: “The initial tear was in the groin. Once I did that, everything else was almost like an avalanche… It’s already messed up and you’re going for surgery, so as long as you’re not a liability out there, it couldn’t get much worse.”
Ference followed the lead of two Pittsburgh Steelers (Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu), who underwent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy before Super Bowl XLIII, to help speed up his initial recovery from the groin tear.
The process, which involves taking blood and spinning it in a centrifuge, then injecting it back into the injured area, where the blood binds to the muscle quicker, had Ference skating in three weeks (and playing in four) for an injury that typically takes six weeks to return from.
Ailments aside, Ference admitted it was a disappointing end for a team with big expectations.
“Anything short of winning it all would have been the same reaction,” said Ference. “I don’t think we set the bar too high, it was realistic to think that we should have won.”
For more from Ference, check out the video at the top of this entry.
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