When in comes to rehabbing from knee surgery, Detroit Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri is an old pro.
Sadly, he knows the drill all too well.
Fabbri is five weeks into the third knee surgery rehab process of his NHL career. Oddly enough, his past pain is proving to be a gain as he gears up to yet again rebuild a shredded knee ligament.
“It’s not something you want to have too much experience in but yeah, definitely to have this experience helps with it,” Fabbri admitted. “It’s no walk in the park. I had some very down moments in my last surgeries and some good moments.
“You kind of figure out what works for you and how to get yourself through those tough times where you feel like things are plateauing and things are moving slow.
“It’s a whole process to it and a lot of it’s mental.”
As much as he’s been there and done that, Fabbri is also knowledgeable enough to be aware that the science of recovery is not an exact one.
“Every surgery is different that I’ve had from my first, second and third,” Robby Fabbri said. “There’s been little things that are different.
“For the general part of it, I know what to work through. Pain-wise, I know what’s too much and what’s too little. Having that experience definitely helps to make sure we’re maximizing each and every day that we’re in here working.”
Red Wings Fabbri Facing Summer of Hard Work
While most of his teammates are heading home for the summer, Fabbri, who signed a contract extension with the Red Wings in December of last year, is still heading to Little Caesars Arena each day. He’s working to bring his damaged knee back to full strength. As they hit up the golf links, Fabbri is hitting the gym and the pool and he’s hitting it hard, seeking to rebuild the strength, flexibility and power in his reconstructed knee.
“The medical staff here with the rehab, they’ve been great every day,” Fabbri said. “They make it fun coming in as much as they can. It’s going well.”
Consdering the hard luck he’s been dealt on the ice in terms of these major setbacks, it would be understandable were Fabbri to be depressed, even a little defeated.
Understandable perhaps, to everyone but him.
“I’ve never had that mentality through injuries or through life,” Fabbri said of feeling sorry for himself. “Everyone goes through what they’re going to go through and life is always going to throw curveballs at you. The less you dwell on that and the more you move forward the easier things get.
“With that being said, those first few days were pretty emotional for me and my family. It’s not only me that has been through these injuries, my family has been there through it all and my fiancée (Kassandra Marchioni). It was tough on all of us.
“I haven’t been emotional like that in a long time. I got it out of the way the first few days and then put my head down and went to work.”
No Specific Timetable For Fabbri’s Return
With 17 goals in 56 games, he was on pace for a career high in goals and likely his first 20-goal season as an NHLer. Fabbri’s season ended on March 10 when he was hurt in a game against the Minnesota Wild.
“I guess my leg just twisted funny behind me,” Fabbri said. “I felt what I’ve felt before and I knew right away when it happened.
“When you ask anyone who’s felt that feeling, you kind of know if you feel it again. It was the same thing with my second one and this one.”
When will Fabbri be back in the Red Wings’ lineup? Again, that’s anybody’s guess. Pinpointing a date for full recovery from a serious injury such as a torn ACL isn’t easily achieved.
“We’re going to play it by ear,” Fabbri said. “We’re going to work with the medical staff and work with everyone. The goal is to get back as soon as possible but doing it the right way and doing it safe and making sure this is the last time.
“There’s no date right now and we’re just going to keep working.”