Injury Rehab and Eli 15.5Eli did a simple T-push during practice last week, something he does hundreds of times in every practice, and felt a stabbing pain in his upper left leg.
He came off the ice a few minutes later, barely able to put any weight on his leg, and we were at an orthopedist the next morning. His diagnosis: strained rectus femoris and a strained tensor lata, which connects to the illotibial band.
MAHA playoffs start in two weeks from the day he got hurt.
The doctor shut him down until Thursday--no activity, no stretching, just hoping to calm the area down. He said in the very best of cases, he might get cleared on Thursday, but recovery time for this injury was highly variable, and it could be up to 6 weeks.
Eli has never had any kind of leg injury while in goal in six years, and it's probably a wake-up call that even though he works out and does all kinds of extra work off the ice, he needs to add a daily stretching routine of at least 30 minutes.
He'll be doing that, but in the meantime, he's bored to death.
So what do you do when you can't work out? Well, you pull out the Jugs Small-ball Pitching Machine:
Those balls are very small and very bouncy, so if you don't catch them right in the pocket, they bounce out. You'll notice a few at regular speed, then I crank it up to the highest speed, and the sound of the machine makes a transformation.
Instead of a blocker, he uses my slipper, turned inside out. That's about 1/4 the size of a regular blocker, so he has to be much more precise to redirect the ball.
If you're wondering how fast it is, I'm not sure. The manual for the pitching machine says that it's the equivalent of 75 MPH when the machine is on the fastest setting and it's 20 feet way.
Eli was 16 feet away, and the second half of each segment was on the highest setting. I don't know if that's a linear increase in speed or not. But it's fast.