Ryan Suter suffered a fractured right ankle in late March and did not get his cast off until July 4th. Nonetheless, the Wild defenseman expressed optimism about his recovery in a recent interview with the team’s website.
“The way I feel right now, I feel like I’m going to be ready for camp,” said Suter, who missed the final four games of the regular season and the playoffs after being injured in Dallas.
It would be remarkable if Suter is ready when training camp opens next month, considering he suffered not only a broken right fibula against the Stars but also fractured the talus bone in his ankle. Suter told The Athletic that doctors informed him if he was a soccer, baseball or basketball player that this injury could have been career ending. The talus bone is located between the heel and fibula and tibia in the lower leg and is a key to ankle movement.
Suter has been a minutes-eater for years — he averaged a team-high 26:47 in ice time last season — and at 33 is getting ready for his 14th NHL season. He still has seven years left on the 13-year, $98 million contract he signed as a free agent with the Wild in 2012.
“I like doubters,” Suter said of those who are questioning whether or when he can return. “When people say, ‘You probably won’t be ready for camp,’ that just makes me angry. I might not be, but I’m sure as heck going to try as hard as I can.”
Suter told Wild.com that he’s “maybe a week-and-a-half behind of where I’d be in the summer time,” adding, “I’d usually start skating at the end of July, so maybe two weeks.”
“By next week, I’ll be putting the equipment on and skating,” he said. “Right now, I’m just trying to get the bad stuff out of there.”
Suter said he feels as if the injury “is going to be a blessing in disguise,” although only time will tell how quickly he bounces back.
“I feel good right now,” he said. “I feel like I’m back.”