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Red Wings Stecher, Vrana Forged Bond During Rehab Process



Troy Stecher, Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings Troy Stecher and Jakub Vrana forged a bond during their rehab from surgery.

For injured Detroit Red Wings Troy Stecher and Jakub Vrana, it seemed like that for the longest time, all they had going for themselves was each other.

The life of an NHLer can certainly be a glamorous one. However, the life of a rehabbing hockey player is far from that lifestyle.

They’re no longer part of of the team, in a sense. They don’t go on road trips, share in the victories, or commiserate in the setbacks.

All alone, they grind away, seeking to work their way back to health and a place again among that inner circle.

“When you’re on the ice, just yourself or with somebody else, it can get pretty lonely, pretty tiring pretty quick,” Stecher admitted.

Defenseman Stecher went on the shelf in early November following wrist surgery. Winger Vrana has been there since undergoing shoulder surgery during training camp together.

Idled alongside each other, they formed a mutual support group during their battle back to health and a spot into the lineup.

Stecher, Vrana Push Each Other Back To Health

“Yeah, me and Stechy, we were on the same schedule for awhile here,” Jakub Vrana said.

“It was definitely nice,” Stecher added. “We could vent to each other, watch games together. If we had a complaint about something we could complain about it to each other. It was nice having somebody there on your shoulder to lean on.

“At the same time, it helped with the whole rehab process. To have somebody there to push you and myself pushing him, seeing the progress we’ve both made, obviously we’re really happy for each other.

Troy Stecher pushed across the finish line on Saturday. His return to the Detroit lineup following a 38-game absence came in Saturday afternoon’s 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Vrana is still skating with a non-contact jersey in practice. The projection for his return to action remains sometime later this month.

“It’s gonna feel nice to see me back out there but also to see him,” Vrana said, acknowledhing his delight at seeing Stecher back in uniform. “I’m really happy for him. We’ve been going through it together.”

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Stecher is exhbiting the level of excitement about the impending return of Vrana to the Detroit lineup.

“He’s looked really good in practice,” Stecher said. “I know he’s in a blue jersey but his breakaway speed if pretty noticeable and it’s something we obviously want back in the lineup.”