Detroit Red Wings’ Robby Fabbri (ACL) uncertain if he’ll be ready for start of 2022-23

Detroit Free Press

Robby Fabbri shed his crutches and brace at the end of April, but whether he’ll be lacing up skates in October is in question.

The Detroit Red Wings forward cautioned that his recovery from ACL surgery on his right knee could push past training camp and the start of the season.

“We’re going to play it by ear,” Fabbri said Wednesday, five weeks after his procedure. “We’re going to work with the medical staff and the goal is to get back as soon as possible, but doing it the right way and doing it safely and making sure this is the last time.

“There’s no date right now.”

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Fabbri was injured in the March 10 game against the Minnesota Wild when he went into a corner to battle with the puck and emerged with a hobbled leg. Fabbri feared the worst, having gone through two ACL surgeries on his left knee early in his career.

“My leg just twisted funny behind me and I felt what I felt before,” he said. “I knew right away when it happened. Ask anyone who’s felt that feeling, you know if you feel it again. It was the same thing with my second one and this one. It’s unfortunate.

“Those first few days were pretty emotional for me and my family. It was tough on all of us. I haven’t been emotional like that in a long time. I got it out of the way and put my head down and got to work. ”

Fabbri plays on the second line and power play. He had 17 goals among 30 points in 56 games. His injury happened the game after Jakub Vrana debuted — Vrana missed  the first 56 games recovering from shoulder surgery — depleting the Wings’ depth just as it had gained an offensive forward.

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General manager Steve Yzerman traded for Fabbri, 26, in November 2019, acquiring him from the St. Louis Blues for little-used forward Jacob de la Rose. Fabbri scored twice in his debut and turned out to be a good fit for the rebuilding Wings. Yzerman showed his faith in Fabbri in December 2021 with a three-year, $12 million extension.

Fabbri said he isn’t worried about how he’s going to come back. For now, he’s focused on the increased freedom of being able to drive again (Moritz Seider regularly chauffeured Fabbri to Little Caesars Arena for treatment because the two live near one another). He’ll have to make do without playing golf this summer, at least in person.

“Mentally that’s a big step, to get rid of those crutches,” Fabbri said. “I’m moving around now and getting my strength back. But I don’t see any golf in my summer, so I’ll be watching some YouTube videos (for my swing). But I won’t be on the course this summer.”

Having gone through lengthy rehabs before, Fabbri knows what does lie ahead this summer.

“With this kind of process, it’s slow, it’s day by day,” he said. “You listen to the knee and you progress as much as the knee is going to allow you. Fortunately, I know going through this what to expect and not to set goals and dates, because each surgery is different. Nothing is set in stone as far as rehab goes. ”

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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