March 19, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Danny Cleary (11) tries to score on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) in the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
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The Detroit Red Wings are out of the playoffs, and now the whole team can actually focus on getting healthy. As a team, there were injuries across the board over the final two months of the season in particular. There were injuries two Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald, and then injuries to Darren Helm and Danny Cleary. They'll all need to spend the offseason getting healthy so the Red Wings can try and recover from their early Stanley Cup Playoff exit.
One player in particular, Cleary, is thinking that he should have just taken care of much-needed knee surgery during the season as opposed to waiting until now. Mlive.com reports that Cleary is scheduled to have surgery next week on his left knee, which bothered him throughout the season, and has a quote from Cleary on the matter:
"I couldn't walk without a limp since November, so the games were really hard," said Cleary, 33. "Listen, I tried as hard as I could. What are you going to do? It's hard playing on one leg. I wouldn't have ... done the same thing over again. Looking back on the fact, hoping that it would calm down (without surgery), it didn't. Looking back, hindsight it ..."
In other words, Cleary is taking a look at how things ended up and thinks that it would have been best to just get the surgery done. That being said, Cleary was a strong contributor on ice, so had he been out for longer with the surgery, the Red Wings may not have even advanced as far as they did (perhaps even falling short of the playoffs?).
That being said, he was largely ineffective near the end of the season, with just three goals in his final 40 games. Cleary will spend six to eight weeks in rehab and should be back in time for training camp if all goes as it should.