Canucks' Mikheyev explains decision to play through partially torn ACL

Jan 28 2023, 10:07 pm

Ilya Mikheyev took to Twitter on Saturday to explain the decision to play through what’s become a season-ending ACL injury, one day after it had been revealed the Vancouver Canucks forward had been battling the ailment since training camp.

“I understand there is a lot of debate about my decision to play with an ACL injury,” Mikheyev tweeted. “Here are the facts: when I was injured in the preseason, I went through several tests and realized I could play without causing any more damage. That’s what I wanted to do.

“Twice per week, we consulted with team doctors about how things were progressing. Never did I feel pressure, never did I feel worse. It was my decision. Finally it reached a point where I wanted to be ready on time for next year.”

He sustained the injury in the first period of the Canucks’ first preseason game of the season, against the Calgary Flames on September 25.

Mikheyev, who signed a four-year deal worth $4.75 million per season in July, finishes the season with 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 46 games — all with what he described as an “almost” full tear.

“Credit to Ilya, [he’s] been playing on basically one knee here,” Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin told reporters after Saturday’s game, a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in which Mikheyev scored the game-winner. “Our medical staff has been preparing him for all the games up to this point.

“It shows a lot about Ilya’s character and his will to play for the Vancouver Canucks.”

Mikheyev is expected to be reading for training camp next fall, the reason he shut down his 2022-23 campaign in late January.

The 27-year-old is expected to have surgery next week.

“If I continued to play, I wouldn’t be ready for training camp,” he wrote. “I appreciate everyone’s concern, but I have no complaints with the way this was handled.”

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