BOLTON, Mass. - At this point there shouldn't be any alarm bells going off, but the medical news on Patrice Bergeron wasn't altogether encouraging either.
The 34-year-old Bruins center said that his balky groin is still "nagging him" with the start of training camp just a few days away, and Bergeron also confirmed that he needed a PRP shot over the summer to address the situation. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient's own blood platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.
Bergeron said he's played the last few years through nagging groin problems and he's hoping that the PRP treatment will once and for all address the situation. No. 37 said he's not concerned about his readiness for opening night in October, and said it's something he may have to play through for the rest of his career if the current treatment doesn't fully alleviate the situation.
"It's still a question where I'm not sure if I'm going to be limited [at the start of camp]," said Bergeron, who said the groin issue was also hampering him in the Stanley Cup Final against the Blues. "I feel better, but it's still lingering a little bit. It's been there most of the summer. I got a PRP shot in July and I'm slowly ramping it up on the ice. It's what we're trying to shoot for is more October than this Thursday.
"[The groin issues have] been going on for a few years now and something we talked about over the summer was being able to put it in the past. I should be able to play through it. It's been there for a long time. With the PRP shot we hope that it's one of those things where it takes some time for it to work. It's getting better but it's still there a little bit. I'm feeling good and I'm feeling positive that I'll definitely be ready for the start of the season. That's not even an issue."
The good news is that Bergeron seems unconcerned about starting the season and continuing in his role as the team's No. 1 center and most important two-way player in the lineup.
Certainly it's a concern that the groin is bothering Bergeron after getting more than two months to recover this summer, but it's also unclear how much is related to the time he needed to stay off the ice after getting the injection in July.
Bergeron missed 17 games due to injuries during the regular season, but still put together 32 goals and a career-high 79 points before posting another nine goals and 17 points in 24 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was pretty clear that Bergeron had been slowed a bit by the groin problems during the postseason, and he's now missed 35 games over the last two seasons with injuries after logging some heavy miles over his 15-season NHL career.
The hope is that his current treatment will alleviate the groin issues for good, but the reality is that Bergeron might have to simply play through this nagging issue after logging 1,028 games and counting in his outstanding NHL career.
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