Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi undergoes back surgery, should be ready for training camp
Detroit — The Red Wings announced Wednesday forward Tyler Bertuzzi underwent successful back surgery on Friday, lending clarity to the season-long mystery.
Bertuzzi, 26, played in only nine games before suffering an undisclosed injury.
He had surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The procedure was performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa.
Bertuzzi is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of the 2021-22 season.
“Like any injury, you never know for sure what recovery is like, but there’s an anticipation that he’s going to make a full recovery and be ready at the start of next year,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
In those nine games, Bertuzzi played, he was off to one of his best starts, with five goals and two assists.
He scored in back-to-back games on Jan. 28 in Dallas and Jan. 30 against Florida before leaving the latter contest after the second period due to injury.
On several occasions, Bertuzzi attempted to return to the ice and went through casual, individual skates. But it was apparent after the weeks began to build up that surgery could become a necessary option.
“Tyler is a pretty positive person generally,” Blashill said. “He’s been frustrated with the way everything shook out. Tyler wants to play hockey, he's a rink rat. But he understands he went through the right process, did everything right to this point, and now it’s in the rehab process.”
The Wings have had players undergo back surgery, which is generally can be the trickiest and most difficult to come back from, for any professional athlete.
Henrik Zetterberg had the surgery, returned and was an effective player, although some pain and discomfort did eventually return.
Danny DeKeyser had surgery for a herniated disk last year, and had a rocky start to this season before appearing to regain some of his strength in recent weeks.
“Every timeline with surgery is different, especially when you’re dealing with things like the back,” Blashill said. “Certainly, the recovery process always varies. We’ve had a few major back surgeries with Henrik (Zetterberg) and DK and it’s all a little bit different.
"I know that the amount of nerve damage DK had to deal with delayed his full recovery and may still. Everyone is different. I wouldn’t compare one to the next.”
Blashill had no further update on Dylan Larkin (upper body), whose season ended April 20 when Larkin appeared to be cross-checked near the neck area by Dallas forward Jamie Benn after a faceoff.
The original timetable was for Larkin to be re-evaluated this week.
“I don’t have any concrete news except that he’s being evaluated, and we’ll keep seeing where it goes,” Blashill said.
Forward Robby Fabbri (upper body) will not play this weekend in Columbus, drawing a close to his season.
Fabbri had been doing some skating, and there was some hope Fabbri could return to play some games, but the hockey schedule ultimately won as time ran out.
Fabbri missed 17 games with the injury, and missed another eight games in January after catching COVID-19.
In 30 games, Fabbri had 10 goals and eight assists and proved to be a needed offensive spark — when healthy.
“He had a pretty good year, and when he was on the ice, he played pretty effective,” Blashill said. “He’s a guy who can score goals, and that’s obviously something that is needed in our lineup. I was happy with Robby’s approach, happy with Robby’s summer.
"He’s going to have to have a real good summer again.”