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SURGERY: But Can Kadri Still Return? Longtime Hockey Doctor Thinks So



Nazem Kadri

EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Seven to 10 days. That’s what one longtime sports doctor told me Nazem Kadri should realistically only miss after having surgery on his right thumb today in Denver. But is that too optimistic?

If it were only 10 days that Kadri misses, that would still put Kadri in the Stanley Cup Finals, which will start either June 15 or 18, Colorado Hockey Now learned earlier today.

I guess it’ll come down to: Can they rig something up so Kadri can play somehow? Because it’s surgery that was needed, it would seem that he would need a longer recovery

But I did talk to a top surgeon tonight who has performed such procedures on thumbs before, and while I can’t use his name, I can write what he said:

“For a Cup final, we would almost for sure have a guy play with it. So even (in my opinion) if not as effective in faceoffs and scoring, it would be more important to have him out there than on the bench. Likely, 7-10 days.”

Jack Eichel played the last six weeks of the regular season with a broken thumb for the Vegas Golden Knights. But, apparently, he was able to do so because he did not need surgery on it. It was a “non-displaced” injury to the thumb. The surgery performed on Kadri today in Denver would strongly suggest there was displacement of the joint.

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Still, my surgeon – who is very legit, I promise – said, “Guranteed, 20 year ago we’d have him playing.”

The Avs put Mikko Rantanen as a second-line center tonight in Game 4 here in Edmonton, with Andre Burakovsky and Artturi Lehkonen next to him.

The Avs are really going to miss Kadri’s play away from the puck, almost as much with it. He’s a strong defender who wins faceoffs and gets in guys’ faces. He also put up more than a point per game on the season.

It’s a big loss, no matter how you slice it.

But maybe – maybe – he’ll still be back. Darren Dreger first reported news of the surgery today, and he also said Kadri has not been ruled out for the Cup Finals – if the Avs get that far, of course.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Donald Victory

How exactly do you break a thumb? Odd. Unless it was a slash earlier?


On the replay it looked like Kane’s skate hit Kadri’s glove. That might have done it.


The boards are hard

Aaron Rud

Pretty easy. He got slammed into the boards.

Tyler Rowse

I’ve dislocated my thumb on the same fall playing inline hockey. Hockey gloves have close to zero flexibility in the thumbs so if you fall like that into the boards you can’t stretch your thumb out to brace the impact like you normally would.

Jeremy Barton

Soooo…we’re hoping that NY/Tampa go 7 games?!? Making game 1 around the 16th? 10 days to heal.


IF Naz is able to play at some point in the finals albeit at <100% effectiveness, is that the preference over a depth player that is relatively 100% healthy? Tough choices ahead for Bedsy.


I think so! Look at what Draisaitl did with practically one healthy leg. And while the importance of a thumb shall not be underestimated with regard to stick control, I get the sense that they can find a fix to get him ready!

Bob Neal

Agreed. BTW, how is the nuclear missle testing program going? I haven’t seen many updates lately.

Peter North

Weird. I believe it would be very difficult to break one of the two bones in the thumb. That being said, I suspect what happened was a dislocation at the hand joint, and surgery was required as the faster way to heal whatever was torn at the attachment. I cannot stand using unprecise and layman terms when discussing matters. So, what is the truth? A broken thumb in lay terms could be a broken bone in the thumb, one or the other usually, unless you are in being tortured with a hammer and both are crushed, or a major industrial… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Peter North

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