Out since Jan. 19 with acute thrombophlebitis (blood clot) in his lower left leg, defenseman Henrik Tallinder is unsure when he’ll rejoin the New Jersey Devils lineup.
Or, if he’ll rejoin the lineup at all.
The Devils said Tallinder’s original diagnosis was for 6-8 weeks of recovery time — it’ll be six weeks this Thursday — but the 33-year-old rearguard figures it’ll be longer than that.
“I have regular doctor checkups but there is no quick way to heal. It takes me the same amount of time as anyone else to heal,” he told the Star-Ledger, speaking for the the first time since his ailment was discovered. “I feel good — no pain — but I can still feel it. It’s kind of like stiffness.
“[Recovery is] not too good. You think you can skate more, but you can’t.”
Tallinder is in his second season of a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the Devils. His first season in New Jersey was solid — he played all 82 games, registered 16 points and played over 22 minutes a night — which explains his frustration with year two. The Devils are surging and appear to be playoff-bound, yet Tallinder can’t be a part of it.
That said, Tallinder knows the severity of his situation and realizes that his condition requires proper treatment.
“When it happens you think, ‘I can deal with this.’ I mean, as a hockey player you are used to playing with pain,” he said. “Then you realize the consequences and it’s, ‘Whoa!’