Capitals’ Fehervary Still Getting Back In Rhythm, Opens Up About Hand Injury
Washington Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary opened up about the “awkward” and “painful” hand injury he suffered against Calgary and how he’s working to get back in the full swing of things while playing on the right side.
ARLINGTON, V.A. — Over a month after it happened, Washington Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary said he's still feeling the after-effects of the hand injury that he suffered against the Calgary Flames back on Dec. 3, saying it's tough to forget just because of how painful it was when it happened.
Fehervary was in the thick of the battle along the boards against Calgary in the second period. As he fought for the puck, Milan Lucic came crashing in with a heavy hit, and Fehervary's left hand took the brunt of the blow.
Immediately, the Slovak blueliner felt significant discomfort in his hand and automatically he retreated from the play, gripping his left arm and skating immediately to the bench before heading down the tunnel for medical attention. He did not return.
"It was really painful, first of all. I know it's something wrong, but I still believe it's not that bad," Fehervary explained.
While he fortunately didn't need surgery, the injury would hold him out of the lineup for 12 games as he worked to rehabilitate and recovery fully. It was a lengthy process, a challenging one as he worked to not just get the strength back in his left hand, but play the game without pain and handle the puck the same way. He also had to work his way up the ranks, skating on his own before engaging in full contact with his teammates.
"I rehab and try to work out, get that strength back, get that swelling out and it wasn't that long, but it could be," Fehervary noted. "I was kind of happy it was just a month."
READ MORE ON WHN: New York Islanders Rip Non-Call On Ovechkin Hit After Loss To Washington Capitals
He made his return to the lineup on Dec. 31 against the Montreal Canadiens, and since then, his routine has been a bit different. When he suits up, he plays extra attention to his left arm, as his left elbow pad has been noticeably cut and taped together. He's also still wearing a brace and getting used to playing with it on.
"It's still a little bit healing… it's weird to play with those kind of things and definitely takes a little bit of time to get back where it used to be," Fehervary said. "It was awkward, really painful injury. I don't really trying to think about it too much. I'm trying to play my game, but sometimes when I'm playing on right side now, it's kind of weird. And I know the guys coming, it could be dangerous, so I try to be aware a little bit."
As each game goes by, the 23-year-old said he's feeling more comfortable, but it's been a bit of a tough road back as he works to fully get back up to speed. He admitted that there was some rust to shake off after coming back, but his conditioning and form is coming back to him as he continued to get ice time.
"[I feel] pretty good actually. Getting into it, a little bit out of shape after that month away, but I feel now pretty good," Fehervary added.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Wilson Goes 1-on-1 About Surgery, Recovery, Return & Getting Back To Form For Washington Capitals
Through 34 games, Fehervary has three goals and four assists and a +/- of plus-2, along with 112 hits and 58 blocks. He has also started to play more of a right-side role with John Carlson out of the mix and Matt Irwin and Alex Alexeyev interchanging on his left side
As he continues to adapt and recover, Fehervary is ready to continue adding to his game and working his way back to the form he was in last year that earned him a 14th-place finish in Calder voting.
"I used to play on right side a lot like my last year in AHL, I played basically whole season on the right side. When I played in Sweden, I played both sides, so I don't really care, actually," Fehervary explained. "It was just a little bit [get] used to it… it's alright. I just need to do a little bit quicker things and read the game a little bit better.
"[I do] everything, you know, get that strength back. Nothing special, but get that strenth back," he added.