Andrei Markov Undergoes Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Updated: December 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm by Alexander Monaghan

At this point, I’m kind of sick of updating Markov’s thread. So, below is the official press release from the team:

MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier issued Monday a medical update on the status of defenseman Andrei Markov.

Markov underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to remove debris in his right knee. His recovery is estimated to be four to six weeks.

Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery Monday in Florida.

…after doing some the requisite amount of arithmetic, January 4th against the Winnipeg Jets would be a best-case scenario with January 18th against the Washington Capitals looking like the worst-case scenario. Of course, with Markov, we know the worst-case scenario can be so much worse. Like, a year later.

If you need the IR space, it may be the right time to dump or trade the Russian defenseman.

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UPDATE 12/5/11: Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier announced today that Andrei Markov would need minor surgery. The offensive defenseman is expected to miss another couple of weeks which should rule him out until January at the earliest. Only hold onto the oft-injured d-man if you have the IR space.

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UPDATE 12/2/11: According to Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS, via Twitter, our worst fears as fantasy hockey owners are coming true. At some point this week, Markov suffered a setback which further explains his absence from practice. Just days ago it looked like he would play on the first game of the current road trip but the Habs will once again need to wait for his 2011-2012 debut.

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UPDATE 12/1/11: It looked like today was the day but Andrei Markov failed to even skate this morning. Perhaps he had a setback, maybe he just isn’t ready yet. The important thing to take from this snippet is to not start him in your lineup tonight. For further details, has some quotes from Jacques Martin.

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UPDATE 11/30/11: According to RDS, Markov will play tomorrow. He lined up on the third defensive pairing this morning. To see the team’s full lines, click here.

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UPDATE 11/29/11: Markov has been cleared for contact according to TSN’s John Lu via Twitter. While this step is the next in his long road back to the NHL, he’s still ruled out until the end of the month.

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UPDATE 11/18/11: Earlier today Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse reported via Twitter that Andrei Markov would not return before the team’s California trip. The Montreal Canadiens play five games over that span which effectively rules their defender out. At this point, his return during this calendar season is questionable.

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UPDATE 11/14/11: Andrei Markov skated with his teammates today in a different color jersey which typically denotes no contact. While this remains a big step in the right direction, Markov likely still needs a few weeks. His last NHL game came on November 13th — over a year ago.

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UPDATE 10/28/11: According to Arpon Basu of CTV, via Twitter, Markov will return to practice within the next 1-2 weeks. Stay tuned for a further update on his return.

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UPDATE 10/25/11: According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, via Twitter, Markov will return to Montreal this Friday. Sounds like the team’s powerplay quarterback could be back sometime in November.

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UPDATE 10/24/11: According to TSN’s John Lu, via Twitter, Markov will return to Montreal this weekend but will not skate immediately. His return to the ice currently boasts the dreaded indefinite status.

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Today, the Montreal Canadiens announced Andrei Markov would stay in Florida for yet another week. While the team remains mum on his exact recovery date, the longer he remains out of the lineup, the longer he will worry fantasy hockey owners.

Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse recently sat down with Dr. Jacques Toueg, a surgeon who has dealt extensively with knee surgeries. From La Presse (translated from French):

“An athlete made a first time for a torn anterior cruciate ligament takes on average six months to recover, and in 90% of cases, do keep no ill effects, said Dr. Toueg.

But if we review and must operate again because the plugin installed has held up, the success rate drops to 70%. This means that three out of 10 athletes never recover their full shape. “

Markov’s last NHL game came on November 13th, 2010, slightly less than 12 months ago. By our statistics, this recovery time is almost double his expected absence. Dr. Toueg would go on to further explain from there. Again, From La Presse:

Dr. Toueg recalls that for a second knee surgery, the average recovery time increases to nine months. It is not so alarming that after ten months, Markov is not yet returned to the game

“In addition, during rehabilitation, there are always periods inflammatory, including when you push the note to see what the knee can cash,” said the surgeon.

The problem, however, adds Dr. Toueg is that the inflammation persists 10 months after the operation.

“It’s not normal. If this were my patient, I would be worried. I want to know why there is inflammation.Is meniscal repair held? Does the new plugin is good? There were broken cartilage? Wear, or for osteoarthritis? All this the surgeon must look. “

So the second surgery and further inflammation would push that recovery to a tentative 10 months, with the current 11 months slightly behind schedule. Yet Markov is not quite healed, or even skating, which draws a bit more concern for those who invested in him.

Furthermore, his Montreal Canadiens can certainly use his skills as an elite PP quarterback. Through the team’s first six games, they hold a disappointing 1-4-1 record. Only four teams hold a worse power play efficiency rate than the Habs’ 8 percent. Considering they currently use number one center Tomas Plekanec on the point, adding Markov, or any proficient left-handed d-man, would probably help them turn their slump around.

Markov’s absence has left a big hole in fantasy hockey teams and the Habs lineup alike. Is it time to worry? Feel free to chime in, or tell us how bad it hurts, in the comments.]

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UPDATE 10/18/11: Today’s update comes from Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse, via Twitter. According to Godin, Markov will remain in Florida for another week under the examination of Dr. James Andrews. The star defender remains on schedule to return but at this point we are unsure of his schedule’s parameters. We can only assume it means this season.

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UPDATE 10/15/11: Markov must really like Florida. The latest update from Renaud Lavoie, via Twitter, indicates Markov will undergo another examination on Monday. Already away from the team for five days, the Canadiens probably can remove him from their plans for the time being.

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UPDATE 10/13/11: News from RDS’s Renaud Lavoie, via Twitter, indicate Andrei Markov will not need additional surgery on his knee. While this news is better than expected, the defenseman will remain in Florida under observation of his doctor. Considering no other update was provided, stay tuned for further updates.

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UPDATE 10/12/11: Somewhat of a cryptic update we received from Renaud Lavoie of RDS, via Twitter. Markov will be meeting with his doctor in Florida, which could mean only one of two things:

  1. He could be looking to get cleared for contact.
  2. His knee is still sore which may require more medical attention.

My best educated guess is option number two. Let us know which option you think it is in the comments, and as always, stay tuned for a further update.

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UPDATE 9/22/11: Nearly a week later and close-to-nothing new to report on the Markov front. Although the 32-year-old has been spotted on the ice, he has not taken part in any team practices or physical drills. From Hockey Inside / Out:

Lars Eller and Andrei Markov are at different stages of recovery from their injuries, Martin said. The former is “more advanced” and will likely be in contact drills next week. Markov is still skating solo, as he was after practice on Thursday.

Not the best news to hear if you’re a disgruntled owner. Stay tuned for further updates on the injury-prone defenseman

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UPDATE 9/15/11: It seems like Markov re-injured his knee while “training too hard” during the offseason, says Tony Marinaro of Team 990 via Hockey Inside /Out. From Hockey Inside / Out:

Marinaro says that Markov has his knee drained in the United States and now must take time to rehab it again. The radio host says Markov developed the problem as a result of training too hard in order to be ready for the 2011-12 season.

The team would not further comment on their fallen star, which is probably not the best sign. Stay tuned for further updates.

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If you thought Andrei Markov was fully healthy, and drafted him at face value, you were sadly wrong.

According to multiple sources, Markov will be questionable for opening night and likely to miss all of training camp. From Renaud P Lavoie, via Twitter:

#canadiens Pierre Gauthier confirmed that Andrei Markov is not ready. He hope he will for the first game of the season.

Clearly not good news for Habs fans and fantasy owners. If you recall, the Montreal Canadiens re-signed Markov before July 1st, then traded his replacement, James Wizniewski, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Not making a run at Wisniewski — who scored 7 goals and 30 points in only 43 games for the team — was a leap of faith the team perhaps hastily made. After all, Markov only suited up for 7 tilts last year and 45 the season before.

When healthy, Markov is one of the most dynamic defenders in the league; we don’t blame you for taking a shot at him. He topped 46 points every full season played since the lockout. Two years ago he was on pace for 11 goals and 62 points but missed 37 games instead. After playing a whopping 7 last year and missing most of training camp, What are we to expect from Markov this season?

GM Pierre Gauthier apparently discussed the injury to Mike Boone of The Montreal Gazette, noting it was a “a clean tear, with no collateral knee damage.” Knowing the injury is not cumulative does help the cause but recovering from a torn ACL is no easy task. Does this news make you feel better?

Furthermore, Are you bullish on his return? Too much uncertainty for my teams but again, I won’t blame you for taking a flier on him at a discounted price. Feel free to chirp in the comments on the latest fallen skater, you know you want to.