Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin makes no secret of his appreciation for teammate Robby Fabbri.
“I know it’s been a long road for him,” Larkin said. “I admire how he’s kept his head up.”
Fabbri went out late last season after suffering a knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Wild. He underwent surgery, the third time during his career that Fabbri has required repair to his knees.
As someone who’s missed significant time due to his own serious injuries, Larkin recognizes how difficult that journey can be. In essence, while rehabbing, even though a player is still considered part of the team, in reality, they feel more like outsiders.
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“People don’t really understand when you’re out of the lineup, when you can’t be around the team, you can’t be with the guys, it’s really hard on you,” Larkin said. “You don’t really get that feeling that you’re in battle with them.
“Guys come off the ice and have little things that they’re talking about that happened in the game. You kind of miss out on all that. It’s really difficult.”
When around his teammates, there’s been no seeking of pity from Fabbri. His only concern is keeping the rest of the players going until he can get going again.
“I can’t speak enough good things about how he’s handled himself and how he’s been there for the guys during this time,” Larkin said. “He’s brought a great energy to the locker room.”
Red Wings Fabbri Back On Ice
Fabbri is back practicing with the club and steadily moving toward a targeted January return to game action.
“I’ve been in full contact for a couple weeks now, since beginning of the month,” Fabbri said. “It’s been going well. Just got to do a few more things and I’ll be ready to go.
“We’re still on pace for January. No one knows the specific date yet. I’ve still got to talk to the surgeon. But it’s all going well.”
They say that timing is everything. For Fabbri, getting his timing back on the ice is the next challenge he’ll be facing on his road to recovery.
“Just getting up to speed,” Fabbri sees as his most daunting task. “I’m going to hop in after guys have played 30-40 games and it’ll be my first in about 10 months. Just the timing of it.
“Everything else I can control, I feel good about, but the timing and getting my game legs back you can’t do until you play.”
Fabbri Adds Offense To Detroit
Since coming to Detroit in a 2019 deal with the St. Louis Blues, Fabbri has been a guy who’s delivering goals. He’s scored 41 times in 138 games as a Red Wing.
Seventeen of those goals came in 56 games last season. That Detroit is hanging around in the NHL Eastern Conference playoff chase minus Fabbri, 30-goal scorer Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana (22 goals in 39 Red Wings games) is a testament to both the depth and determination of this squad.
“Everything has been going well,” Fabbri said. “That’s all I can ask for. It’s getting exciting, getting close and the boys are doing well, so it’s been fun.”
It’s even more fun for them to think how much better a team that can be as such potent scoring is returning to the lineup.
“He’ll bring a lot our lineup,” Larkin said. “We get him back on the ice and he adds a spark, he adds another very skilled top forward on our team that we need to get back.
“It’s really news he’s close.”