Photo: National Post

When the injury to Patrick Kane was announced, and surgery was conducted, everyone was all happy and relieved. “Good thing it won’t impact the season!”

I just kept my mouth shut. I knew that the official line was a load of bullshit, but I kept my mouth shut.

So then today…

Patrick Kane suggested on a Toronto-based radio program that he may not be ready to participate in on-ice drills at training camp, and his goal is to be ready to play by the regular season opener in October.

How many I-was-right-again posts is this?

Bow to me, for I am all-knowing.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Instead I have a daughter with a severe orthopedic condition, and I’ve spent more time in surgery waiting rooms than many people spend in school. Additionally, I broke 3 bones in my hand about 2 years ago, and I have first-hand (HA!) knowledge of the recovery process. This gives me a very good amount of insight into the injury Kane has sustained, and the nature of his recovery.

The wrist has 8 bones in it, all of which interact with the 2 bones in your forearm and 19 bones in your hand, to create the most extensive and complicated orthopedic region of the human body — arguably in nature. Any one of those puzzle pieces gets damaged, the whole thing gets out of whack. Essentially, if all of those bones and the soft tissue that connects them aren’t in 100% perfect condition, you’re going to have at least some trouble performing routine tasks.

When you break bones, or those bones are surgically broken/repaired/reinforced/whatever, you have to keep that area immobile for some weeks thereafter to allow bone matter to build up and the bones to heal. During the time that area is immobilized, the soft tissue (muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc.) becomes stiff. In the case of your hand/wrist area, REALLY stiff. Re-gaining 100% flexibility and range of motion in that area is a tremendously painful and time-consuming process — as I found out.

Understand that I was not in the shape that Patrick Kane was when he sustained his injury. Understand also that I do not have 24/7 access to world-class sports medicine, rehabilitation, occupational therapy and orthopedic personnel like he does. But to give you at least a worst-case scenario estimate: after the bones were properly set and healed, my hand was still not at full capacity for an additional SIX MONTHS.

A hockey player’s hands work in concert to provide the power and precision required where the stick meets the puck. The injury to Kane’s wrist will, necessarily, affect his shot, his passing accuracy and his stick-handling. Put another way, Patrick Kane will be unable to do the things that make him Patrick Kane!

Kane indicated in the radio interview that he still wears a removable cast on his wrist. You wear a cast to immobilize the bones, not protect the soft tissue. This suggests that his wrist bones are not healing as well as originally predicted. This is very bad news.

And if the bones aren’t healing, proper rehabilitation on that area can’t being in earnest. Assuming a training-camp timeline, that soft tissue needs to be in daily rehab by this point to ensure proper strength and flexibility. No, sorry folks: a training camp return is off the table, period.

Biologically speaking, Kane is a human being. From an occupational perspective, Kane is an athlete. But to the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Kane is an investment. They have leased him for this season and the subsequent 3 years remaining on his contract. It is incumbent upon the team to properly take care of that investment. From an athletic point of view at least. I don’t think he necessarily needs to be tucked into bed with a glass of warm milk every night.

Although maybe that would keep him away from the bar skanks.

My point is, bluntly, the handling of Kane’s injury was fucked up. He knew his wrist was injured before the end of the regular season. But not only did he continue to play with it injured through the playoffs, he had begun his off-season training routine before team doctors decided that it needed surgery. This is akin to buying a Ferrari, discovering a leak in the oil pan, then driving it at top speed anyway hoping everything works out.

Despite the pickle the Blackhawks were in last April trying to fight for a playoff spot, team doctors should have never cleared Kane to get back on the ice. Risking further injury to a player of that caliber, regardless of the immediate needs of the team, is reckless and short-sighted — not to mention jeopardizes the career of a talented player. And if they had done that, and conducted surgery to Kane’s wrist right away, he would be fully healed by now and ready to go on the ice in three weeks! No, it’s very clear that everyone involved in this mess, from Kane to the coaches to the medical personnel, handled this like idiots.

So now that I’ve reamed everyone a new asshole, I’m going to tell you what will REALLY happen here. Patrick Kane will spend training camp riding a stationary bike. He will not be in shape for the season opener, and he will miss at least 10 games of the regular season. When he does come back, he’s not going to be the same player for a while. He will bobble pucks, he will miss the net and shoot straight into goaltenders’ chests, and he will muff simple passes.

And all this because we wanted to make the playoffs. Wonder if we will this year?

Jeremy Morin may get more time on the top line after all. You heard it here first.

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