Shaw out six months with torn ACL
Mason Shaw got the news he feared on Thursday, but he’s not ready to call it a season just yet.
The Medicine Hat Tigers forward received confirmation of a torn ACL that requires surgery after suffering an awkward hit in a prospects game with the Minnesota Wild last weekend. While Tigers assistant coach Bobby Fox says “a best-case (scenario) is six months” — which would put the team into mid-March — Shaw doesn’t plan on missing any more than that.
“I’m not writing this season off. I think if all goes well with the surgery and I rehab harder than I ever have before I believe I can get back for the end of the season. That’s my goal right now,” said Shaw, who will undergo surgery on his right knee Sept. 25 in Minnesota. “It’s a little bit of adversity but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so they say. That’s kind of the approach I’m taking right now.”
Fox added it’s a tough pill to swallow, losing their most prolific returning player to injure days before the onset of the regular season, but there’s always a silver lining.
“It’s a blow for our team here right at the beginning but it gives a lot of guys opportunities moving forward,” said Fox. “There’s always a positive to the situation.”
Shaw and the Tigers can also take some solace in the fact he is receiving the best care available thanks to his position with the Minnesota Wild. The 94th overall selection in this year’s NHL entry draft, Shaw says he’s truly getting the top medical treatment available.
“That’s kind of a positive, one of the few in this situation. I’m getting taken care of by some of the best people in the business. The doctor that going to do my operation has done many before and says I’ll come out successful with the Wild’s training staff and the rehabbing process. Right after the surgery we’re going to bang away at it so a possible return can be in the books.”
While he’s remaining optimistic, Shaw admits the news comes is still devastating. Despite preparing himself for the likelihood of bad news after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday, there’s no softening the blow that comes with having the majority of the upcoming season pushed out of reach.
“There are a lot of things I was looking forward to this season, obviously with the Tigers and Minnesota and possibly the world juniors, and being at my first camp, I didn’t want it to end in my second rookie game but it is what it is. I’ll get through it,” said Shaw, who posted 27 goals and 67 assists last season. “I figured on the initial hit that this would be the end result, but in the days leading up to it I was kind of hoping for the best. Now it’s time to turn the page and get ready for surgery.”
Medicine Hat Tigers forward Mason Shaw takes a faceoff against Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Jordy Bellerive during a WHL contest at the Canalta Centre on March 19, 2016.