‘It’s been a battle’: Canucks’ Pearson still struggling with hand injury

Vancouver Canucks wing Tanner Pearson says he’s still working his way back to health nearly six months after breaking his hand during a game.

“I just want to take my hand back,” he told reporters at Saturday’s end-of-season news conference. “I just want to be a dad, be with my kids and be able to play now. It sucks.”

The 30-year-old, who broke his hand in Vancouver’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 9, was initially expected to miss six weeks, but the team announced in January that he would sit out the remainder of the game. He had undergone multiple surgeries before. this season.

He played just 14 games, scoring one goal and providing four assists.

“It’s been a bad year, to say the least,” Pearson said. “Right now, I’m just taking it day by day, week by week, and trying to make progress.”

This season is the forward’s 12th in the NHL. Drafted 30th overall by the Kings in 2012, born in Kitchener, Ontario, played for Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Vancouver, and won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014. He scored 133 goals and assisted 139 times in 590 regular-season games.

Pearson’s injury — and his treatment — has been widely discussed in the marketplace. Canucks guard Quinn Hughes said publicly that the situation “was not handled properly.”

Jim Rutherford, the team’s president of hockey operations, said in January that he had conducted a “thorough review” and was willing to let the NHL Players Association or the league investigate the case.

“If there’s been any wrongdoing, we want it to be corrected, okay? But based on our (internal investigation) here, we’re very happy with the way things were handled,” he said. “But it would be nice for someone to come in and take a look.”

Pearson declined to share how he felt about how the injury was handled on Saturday, but acknowledged that it has been difficult to get out for most of the season.

He continued to go to the rink every day when the Canucks were in town, but seeing text messages from his teammates having fun on the road wasn’t easy, he said.

“It was definitely tough. I tried to live a normal life,” he said. “It’s a battle.”

Pearson said he has a timeline that he hopes to hit as he continues to work toward his return, but the process has been slow.

He said he’s back in the gym and will continue to do his best this summer to prepare for next season, despite his limitations.

“I’m still going to treat this summer like a hockey player,” Pearson said. “I have to. If not, I come back and I’m way behind the eight ball. It’s going to be a very, very tough summer. I know that, and I’m ready for it.”

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