Coyotes' prospect Visentin optimistic for next season after ankle surgery

Community Mar 13, 2015 Flamborough Review

Three days into training camp with the Arizona Coyotes, Waterdown’s Mark Visentin fell and was landed on awkwardly.

“In my mind, I sprained my ankle,” he recalled.

So the 22-year-old netminder was sent back to the AHL’s Portland Pirates to rehab the injury.

“I worked as hard as I could to try and help my ankle get better,” Visentin said. “As the weeks went by I just wasn’t feeling the normal progress you’d see with a normal injury.

“The pain didn’t seem to lessen at all.”

Visentin noted he’s been through some highs and lows over the course of his career, but this was different.

“This one wasn’t performance-based, this one was based on my health,” he said. “When I was trying to get back to playing it hurt and it scared me.

“I wasn’t comfortable on the ice, I didn’t feel good about myself and I was truly – I did feel as though if I continued with that pain I wouldn’t be able to play hockey at a professional level.”

So Visentin requested to see renowned foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. Anderson has performed surgeries on numerous high-profile NFL and NBA stars, including the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.

After some tests, Dr. Anderson determined surgery would be the best option for Visentin.

Rehab

On Boxing Day, Visentin flew to OrthoCarolina and had the surgery. Then the long rehab process began.

That process has been difficult, the 6’2”, 201-pound goalie admitted.

“My first almost six weeks after my surgery I couldn’t really walk,” he explained. “I didn’t go to the rink, so I was on my own a lot and that was tough.”

To date, Visentin hasn’t played a game this season – and he admitted he probably won’t.

“We’re kind of at the point of the season that I probably won’t end up playing,” he said. “We’re just focusing on making sure my ankle is 100 per cent before we push it.”

But deciding on surgery and accepting that he wouldn’t play this season – after making his NHL debut late in the 2013-14 season – was disappointing.

“There’s a certain stage I had to go through where I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to play this season,” he said. “That was tough, you know?

“I definitely wasn’t too hyped about hockey back then.”

Positive future

However, the former Niagara IceDog has worked hard with his psychologist to be positive about the situation.

“I think when it comes down to it, my ankle is fixed,” he reasoned. “If it didn’t get fixed I’d be in a worse scenario.”

The Coyotes’ first-round pick, 27th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, added goalies put a lot of torque on their ankles in the butterfly position, so his recovery really isn’t something that can be rushed.

“If you come back too soon, there’s obviously a big risk of reinjuring it or ruining what the surgeon has already fixed,” he said.

But Visentin said Anderson was pleased with how the surgery went.

“He was very confident that we found the issue, fixed it and we’re moving forward.”

Still, Visentin said sitting out has been very difficult.

“I always take pride in helping my team win and being successful,” he said. “It’s tough not being a part of that this year – I’m with the guys every day at the rink, but not physically contributing is not easy.”

Although the year has been trying, Visentin said he’s looking at it as a learning experience.

“I think when I look back, tough situations kind of bring out your character, who you are as a person,” he reflected. “They can help you out with things later in life.”

In the meantime, Visentin is eager to be on the ice soon – but not in goalie gear.

“It won’t be for practices,” he explained. “It will be skating laps in a track suit and we’ll slowly, gradually be increasing my work on the ice.”

With the timelines set out, the former World Junior netminder will be ready for training camp next season.

“It will give me a good amount of time to in the summer to get back in shape and feel comfortable on the ice,” he said of the rehab timeline. And while five or six months without being on the ice is a long time, Visentin has full confidence he can come back – if anything, better than he was before.

“I’m looking forward to playing pain-free and having my game excel,” he said. “I’m really excited for next season – I think it will be the best of my career.”

Coyotes' prospect Visentin optimistic for next season after ankle surgery

Community Mar 13, 2015 Flamborough Review

Three days into training camp with the Arizona Coyotes, Waterdown’s Mark Visentin fell and was landed on awkwardly.

“In my mind, I sprained my ankle,” he recalled.

So the 22-year-old netminder was sent back to the AHL’s Portland Pirates to rehab the injury.

“I worked as hard as I could to try and help my ankle get better,” Visentin said. “As the weeks went by I just wasn’t feeling the normal progress you’d see with a normal injury.

“The pain didn’t seem to lessen at all.”

Visentin noted he’s been through some highs and lows over the course of his career, but this was different.

“This one wasn’t performance-based, this one was based on my health,” he said. “When I was trying to get back to playing it hurt and it scared me.

“I wasn’t comfortable on the ice, I didn’t feel good about myself and I was truly – I did feel as though if I continued with that pain I wouldn’t be able to play hockey at a professional level.”

So Visentin requested to see renowned foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. Anderson has performed surgeries on numerous high-profile NFL and NBA stars, including the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.

After some tests, Dr. Anderson determined surgery would be the best option for Visentin.

Rehab

On Boxing Day, Visentin flew to OrthoCarolina and had the surgery. Then the long rehab process began.

That process has been difficult, the 6’2”, 201-pound goalie admitted.

“My first almost six weeks after my surgery I couldn’t really walk,” he explained. “I didn’t go to the rink, so I was on my own a lot and that was tough.”

To date, Visentin hasn’t played a game this season – and he admitted he probably won’t.

“We’re kind of at the point of the season that I probably won’t end up playing,” he said. “We’re just focusing on making sure my ankle is 100 per cent before we push it.”

But deciding on surgery and accepting that he wouldn’t play this season – after making his NHL debut late in the 2013-14 season – was disappointing.

“There’s a certain stage I had to go through where I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to play this season,” he said. “That was tough, you know?

“I definitely wasn’t too hyped about hockey back then.”

Positive future

However, the former Niagara IceDog has worked hard with his psychologist to be positive about the situation.

“I think when it comes down to it, my ankle is fixed,” he reasoned. “If it didn’t get fixed I’d be in a worse scenario.”

The Coyotes’ first-round pick, 27th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, added goalies put a lot of torque on their ankles in the butterfly position, so his recovery really isn’t something that can be rushed.

“If you come back too soon, there’s obviously a big risk of reinjuring it or ruining what the surgeon has already fixed,” he said.

But Visentin said Anderson was pleased with how the surgery went.

“He was very confident that we found the issue, fixed it and we’re moving forward.”

Still, Visentin said sitting out has been very difficult.

“I always take pride in helping my team win and being successful,” he said. “It’s tough not being a part of that this year – I’m with the guys every day at the rink, but not physically contributing is not easy.”

Although the year has been trying, Visentin said he’s looking at it as a learning experience.

“I think when I look back, tough situations kind of bring out your character, who you are as a person,” he reflected. “They can help you out with things later in life.”

In the meantime, Visentin is eager to be on the ice soon – but not in goalie gear.

“It won’t be for practices,” he explained. “It will be skating laps in a track suit and we’ll slowly, gradually be increasing my work on the ice.”

With the timelines set out, the former World Junior netminder will be ready for training camp next season.

“It will give me a good amount of time to in the summer to get back in shape and feel comfortable on the ice,” he said of the rehab timeline. And while five or six months without being on the ice is a long time, Visentin has full confidence he can come back – if anything, better than he was before.

“I’m looking forward to playing pain-free and having my game excel,” he said. “I’m really excited for next season – I think it will be the best of my career.”

Coyotes' prospect Visentin optimistic for next season after ankle surgery

Community Mar 13, 2015 Flamborough Review

Three days into training camp with the Arizona Coyotes, Waterdown’s Mark Visentin fell and was landed on awkwardly.

“In my mind, I sprained my ankle,” he recalled.

So the 22-year-old netminder was sent back to the AHL’s Portland Pirates to rehab the injury.

“I worked as hard as I could to try and help my ankle get better,” Visentin said. “As the weeks went by I just wasn’t feeling the normal progress you’d see with a normal injury.

“The pain didn’t seem to lessen at all.”

Visentin noted he’s been through some highs and lows over the course of his career, but this was different.

“This one wasn’t performance-based, this one was based on my health,” he said. “When I was trying to get back to playing it hurt and it scared me.

“I wasn’t comfortable on the ice, I didn’t feel good about myself and I was truly – I did feel as though if I continued with that pain I wouldn’t be able to play hockey at a professional level.”

So Visentin requested to see renowned foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. Anderson has performed surgeries on numerous high-profile NFL and NBA stars, including the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.

After some tests, Dr. Anderson determined surgery would be the best option for Visentin.

Rehab

On Boxing Day, Visentin flew to OrthoCarolina and had the surgery. Then the long rehab process began.

That process has been difficult, the 6’2”, 201-pound goalie admitted.

“My first almost six weeks after my surgery I couldn’t really walk,” he explained. “I didn’t go to the rink, so I was on my own a lot and that was tough.”

To date, Visentin hasn’t played a game this season – and he admitted he probably won’t.

“We’re kind of at the point of the season that I probably won’t end up playing,” he said. “We’re just focusing on making sure my ankle is 100 per cent before we push it.”

But deciding on surgery and accepting that he wouldn’t play this season – after making his NHL debut late in the 2013-14 season – was disappointing.

“There’s a certain stage I had to go through where I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to play this season,” he said. “That was tough, you know?

“I definitely wasn’t too hyped about hockey back then.”

Positive future

However, the former Niagara IceDog has worked hard with his psychologist to be positive about the situation.

“I think when it comes down to it, my ankle is fixed,” he reasoned. “If it didn’t get fixed I’d be in a worse scenario.”

The Coyotes’ first-round pick, 27th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, added goalies put a lot of torque on their ankles in the butterfly position, so his recovery really isn’t something that can be rushed.

“If you come back too soon, there’s obviously a big risk of reinjuring it or ruining what the surgeon has already fixed,” he said.

But Visentin said Anderson was pleased with how the surgery went.

“He was very confident that we found the issue, fixed it and we’re moving forward.”

Still, Visentin said sitting out has been very difficult.

“I always take pride in helping my team win and being successful,” he said. “It’s tough not being a part of that this year – I’m with the guys every day at the rink, but not physically contributing is not easy.”

Although the year has been trying, Visentin said he’s looking at it as a learning experience.

“I think when I look back, tough situations kind of bring out your character, who you are as a person,” he reflected. “They can help you out with things later in life.”

In the meantime, Visentin is eager to be on the ice soon – but not in goalie gear.

“It won’t be for practices,” he explained. “It will be skating laps in a track suit and we’ll slowly, gradually be increasing my work on the ice.”

With the timelines set out, the former World Junior netminder will be ready for training camp next season.

“It will give me a good amount of time to in the summer to get back in shape and feel comfortable on the ice,” he said of the rehab timeline. And while five or six months without being on the ice is a long time, Visentin has full confidence he can come back – if anything, better than he was before.

“I’m looking forward to playing pain-free and having my game excel,” he said. “I’m really excited for next season – I think it will be the best of my career.”