WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The grind of the season in professional sports can really ware on athletes.
Things that are a matter of routine, like talking to media, become repetitive to the point of exhaustion.
When a player has an injury for instance, game after game they’re hounded for updates. It’s not the media’s fault; they’re just doing their jobs the same as the players are.
But it can become frustrating for the player, nonetheless.
However, usually that level of tedium doesn’t – the point at which is begins to boil over – doesn’t start to set in until about halfway through a season, sometimes much later, if at all. It’s a give and take, depending on how the team’s performing, but typically, the season has at least begun.
“I really am sick and tired of talking about … I hate when people ask ‘Are you gonna be playing tomorrow? Are you gonna be playing tomorrow?’” Brooks Laich told the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday, six whole days before the Capitals’ first regular season game.
Although it’s only been a few weeks since the team first reported to training camp, Laich had an injury, albeit a minor one, almost immediately, which he admitted to the Junks was only his left glute being “a little bit tight.”
But this comes after he missed 39 games of a lockout-shortened 48-game 2012-13 season with a groin injury, along with all of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“It’s really starting to get to me,” Laich said. “So I’m sort of, I don’t know if you can tell, I’m a little bit on edge. But I’m confident that this is just another little setback. It’ll be fine here in a few days and I’ll be ready to go, certainly for October 1st.”
He also talked about the reason hockey teams typically don’t report injuries as anything more than ‘upper body/lower body,’ which isn’t exactly common knowledge.
“There’s a couple reasons why they do it,” Laich explained. “You don’t want people to target, but also they try to protect the players. If a player has a recurring knee injury, you don’t want to always say he has a knee injury, or else all of a sudden if his contract comes up and he’s an unrestricted free agent or something, that there aren’t a bunch of teams scared off and saying that this guy always has a knee injury. So there’s reasons to protect players for their long-term, or their longevity in the league. So we try to, like I said, hide as much as we can, but we also realize the media has a job to report stuff and that it’s sort of a give and take a little bit.”
It’s not just the media though, who Laich tries to keep from speaking with about his injuries.
“There was one point in my career, I actually phoned our NHLPA to see if I could sign a waiver that said ‘I knowingly neglect any advice from our training staff or doctors,’” Laich laughed. “So I guess I have come a little bit in that regard.”
Because Laich’s tough and he’s a hockey player.
Fortunately for him, he’s got some relief coming his way if he wants it. EB offered to massage Laich’s ass for him, just as he offered to massage his groin last season.
He confirmed he should be good to go for the season-opener next Tuesday, by the way.