New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise got some promising news today when his physician told him that he could begin skating again after having surgery five months ago to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“Zach met with the physician today and I spoke to the physician and Zach this afternoon and he’s fine,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said. “He can begin skating lightly, immediately. He certainly isn’t where he has to be with the strength of his leg, which should be another three weeks to get to where it should be. But he’ll skate on his time for a minimum 2-3 weeks.”
Whether Parise can return and play for the Devils again this season still remains uncertain.
“Whenever time is involved in something, things change so quickly,” Lamoriello stated. “What we know for sure is that the examination was positive and now we go from there. You have to be careful. What an injury is today can be different tomorrow. It all depends on how your body reacts.”
Parise suffered the injury on Oct. 30 against the Los Angeles Kings after falling awkwardly in the nuetral zone. Parise immediately skated to the bench favoring his right leg. At the time, Parise had three goals and three assists in 12 games for the Devils, who got off to a very rocky 3-9-1 start and were in last place in the Eastern Conference.
After breaking out in 2008-09 with a 94-point season, Parise solidified himself as an All-Star last year with 38 goals and 44 assists and a plus-24 rating. At 26-years-old, Parise also represented the United States a s member of the USA Olympic ice hockey team that took home the silver medal in an overtime loss to Team Canada. Parise tied for third in scoring during the tournament with four goals and four assists in six games with Team USA and also served as an alternate captain for the team and was voted to the tournament All-Star team as well.
After a less than stellar first half of the season, the Devils have made a significant push for a playoff spot in recent weeks with a 9-1-0 record throughout their last ten games. However, even with their current hot streak the Devils are still nine points out from the 8th seed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference currently held by the Carolina Hurricane. With roughly six weeks left in the regular season, Parise is definitely questionable at best for a return this season. But if the Devils manage to sneak into the playoffs, Parise could be a huge addition to the team if he gets healthy and can get his strength back in time.