Robby Fabbri said Thursday that his rehabilitation from knee surgery is on schedule for a return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup after New Year’s Day.
“Everything has gone as planned,” Fabbri said. “We’re right where we’re at with this injury, it’s a time thing. Just gradually getting more and more on the ice and getting back into the swing of things and the daily NHLschedule. Things are going well. Still a couple months but we’re still on track for the New Year.”
Often players do injury rehabilitation away from the team. But coach Derek Lalonde said recently that he asked Fabbri to spend time in the dressing room. The Red Wings view him as one of the team’s leaders.
Fabbri is a versatile player with an offensive touch. He is skillful with the puck in traffic, particularly in close on the goalie. He netted 17 goals last season in 56 games. He can play wing or center and seems comfortable on any line.
He play a feisty style and the Red Wings have missed him in the opening weeks of the season. With Tyler Bertuzzi also injured and Jakub Vrana in the NHL/NHLPA Assistance Program, the Red Wings are missing half of their top six forwards. That’s roughly 75 goals missing from their lineup.
Experienced at Rehab
The Fabbri plan? “Progressively work back into practices non-contact and then work into practices with contact,” Fabbri said. “The contact will come in December, closer to the New Year and then we’ll ramp me up for games after that.”
Fabbri has stayed positive, mostly because he is experienced in dealing with significant injuries.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been through it before, where mentally I’ve drained myself and you learn from that on the second one and then you learn more on the third one as well,” Fabbri said. “It’s not something to be proud of
or something that’s fun but just staying positive. Putting all my energy into the rehab and doing the work to get better and letting everything else take care of itself. Being around the group as much as I can definitely helps and makes time go by quicker.”
This latest injury was the hardest on him mentally.
“Yeah, I knew right away when it happened,” Fabbri said. It took me a good 5-10 minutes to calm down in the doctor’s room, knowing what happened. Docs just sat there and waited for me to calm down because I knew what I
had to do. It was an emotional time for me and my family to have to go through that again. It’s one of those injuries where it’s long… I came back to work the next day and got ready for surgery.”