New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, the team announced earlier today.
The team added that the surgery, scheduled for Tuesday, will likely sideline DiPietro for a bulk of the remainder of the season.
“This is something I thought would just heal up and go away, and instead it got more and more debilitating,” DiPietro is quoted as saying by NHL.com. “I’m almost bionic at this point.”
According to ESPN, DiPietro, the first player taken in the 2000 NHL Draft, has played only 63 games the past three seasons, as hip and knee injuries and facial fractures have forced the goaltender to miss time. He signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract before the 2006-07 season.
Although he couldn’t give specifics on DiPietro’s recovery regiment, slanders general manager Garth Snow said the best-case scenario for the goalie’s comeback was the beginning of April, according to a report in Newsday.
“I have confidence he can get through this,” Snow said. “He’ll have the surgery and in a few weeks, hopefully, he’ll be back on the ice.”
In the eight games he has played this season, Rick DiPietro is 3-2-3 with a 3.73 goals-against average and a save percentage of just .876. In 315 regular-season games, he is 130-133-8-31 with a 2.86 goals-against average, a .903 save percentage and 16 shutouts.
“This isn’t something I ever thought would happen again,” DiPietro said of the latest surgery. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to come back healthy, as fast as possible.”