Blues’ Shattenkirk ‘week-to-week’ as he recovers from abdominal surgery

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Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has been out of the St. Louis Blues’ lineup since Feb. 1 recovering from abdominal surgery, says he’s now on a week-to-week time frame.

The 26-year-old met the media for the first time on Wednesday and discussed his recovery.

“I guess about a week ago now, the scar tissue released and that kind of spooked me a little bit,” said Shattenkirk per NHL.com. “They say if that happens, just take some time, take a day off, let it rest and it’s going to feel better, and it has. The groin is still something that I need to work on and strengthen, and then once that gets back, hopefully I can jump into real team practices and then get my conditioning back and ready for games.”

Shattenkirk got tangled with Washington Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin during the Blues’ 4-3 win.

Tonight, when the Blues host the Flyers, will be his 18th game out of the lineup. St. Louis is 10-6-1 in his absence.

“It was a weird play,” said Shattenkirk. “I just kind of bumped Ovechkin and fell down. I tried to get up, and as I was sliding, my toes seemed to get caught in the ice and open my leg up as my body was still moving. I just felt a pop and instant pain in my belly and in my groin. I knew right away something was really bad. I’ve had little tweaks before, but this one felt instantly like something was wrong.

“That’s the thing, I didn’t really know what to expect, what it could have been. Once they gave the MRI, they showed the MRI and said that it was essentially torn off the bone at both spots on the right side and then on the left side in the ab as well. It was pretty amazing to know that that little play caused so much damage.”

Shattenkirk doesn’t have a specific game targeted for his return, but says the recovery process is on track.

“We’re kind of taking it on a week-to-week basis,” he said. “Thursday, I believe, will be five weeks out. It’s just going by the protocol and following it. I think as I talk to the doctors, and we kind of see how I’m feeling and what next steps we can take, that’s all you can really do. But I’m pushing for the six-week mark and I want to make that mark. But I also want to come back and be 100 percent, and obviously every knows that. I wouldn’t be helping the team out coming back any less than that, I think.”

Shattenkirk had eight goals and 40 points while averaging nearly 23 minutes a night in ice time in 49 games prior to the injury.