Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock forward Rob Hellyer recently underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder after suffering a dislocation back in March against the Edmonton Rush at Air Canada Centre. The 6-month recovery process will now begin for the star forward who had a potential MVP season derailed by the injury.
At the time of the injury on March 21st, Hellyer was leading the NLL in scoring and was on his way to potentially battling Calgary’s Shawn Evans for the single-season scoring record. Evans later eclipsed the old league mark of 116 set by Colorado’s John Grant Jr. in 2012, finishing the 2015 NLL season with 130 points.
Hellyer missed the next 6 weeks of the NLL season but was able to return for the Rock’s final regular season game and the team’s playoff run to the Champion’s Cup Final Series. The 5th year forward from Lion’s Head, Ontario led the Rock in post-season scoring with 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists) in 5 games.
“I made the decision after the season with the advice of Rock staff and management that I would have the surgery this summer,” explained Hellyer who suited up for the Oakville Rock of Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse until his surgery date arrived in early July.
Hellyer felt it was necessary to get the surgery done and try to avoid any recurrence of the injury. “If I didn’t have the surgery, our doctors told me there was only a 10% chance it never pops out again. And if it pops, it will only happen more frequently after that and surgery would become more necessary or it keeps popping out and does more damage. I’m young and I decided to get it done now and get healthy.”
In a sling for the first 6 weeks, the following 3-4 months will see a return to regular activity for Hellyer with the aim of strengthening the shoulder. “The goal is to be healthy for the first game of the season in January. I don’t think I’ll be doing full contact at the beginning of training camp in December. The surgeon, who also did Colin (Doyle’s) surgery is pretty adamant about a 6-month timeline for recovery.”
Doyle’s surgery was a bit different than Hellyer’s. The Rock veteran had shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff last fall and returned for the Rock’s last regular season game and the playoffs.
Recently, we tracked the progress of Brett Hickey’s recovery from a high ankle sprain and there is some good news to report. Hickey returned to the lineup of his summer team, the Oakville Rock of Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse earlier this week. Rock fans can only hope that Hellyer’s road to recovery is as speedy as the one traveled by his teammate Hickey.