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Couture Reveals Injury That’s Sidelined Him All Season

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

We now know the injury that has sidelined Logan Couture for the entire season.

On the eve of his return to action tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks captain shared that he was battling Osteitis pubis, essentially a significant groin and abdomen and hip issue, which popped up during captain’s skates in the summer.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Osteitis pubis is “inflammation in the joint between your left and right pubic bones (your pubic symphysis). It causes pain and swelling in your groin or lower abdomen.”

It’d been a long road for Couture to get to his 2023-24 season debut.

On the first day of San Jose Sharks training camp, Couture announced that he would be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

“The injury I have, there was no set timeline for it,” Couture told San Jose Hockey Now last month. “That’s why I stood here and said, ‘I think I can try and be ready for opening night,’ but looking back on that, obviously not even close to that.”

Couture on Injury, Sharks’ Slow Start, Hertl’s Emergence & More (+)

Couture skated for some of October, but had a setback, which kept him off the ice for basically all of November. Those were dark days for the captain.

“That was the toughest part — when you said mentally, just the unknown. The waking up one day and feeling good, and then the next day and feeling really crappy. Just not knowing. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, there was no timeline set, just kind of a week-by-week, day-by-day thing,” he said. “I can honestly say two months ago, I would wake up and I didn’t know if I was ever gonna play in the NHL again. Something that I thought of many, many, many days.”

Couture clarified that his medical team was always confident that they would get him back on the ice. He started skating with regularly again in December, and with no setbacks, crediting San Francisco physiotherapist Lisa Giannone, in particular, for his improvement.

“We tried everything. We tried rest. We tried cortisone. Tried multiple, multiple things,” he said today. “End of the day, what I started to do with [Dr. Giannone] was a lot of strengthening in the area, and rest. That’s basically what it was. It was a long process.”

“Most athletes are able to resume their sport with no symptoms three to six months after starting treatment,” the Cleveland Clinic states about Osteitis pubis. “It’s rare to need surgery for osteitis pubis, but it’s an option if your symptoms don’t improve after several months.”

The San Jose Sharks and Couture are undoubtedly thrilled that they avoided the worst-case scenario for this deep groin issue.

The 34-year-old center, who led Sharks forwards with 67 points last season and is a staple in all situations, will start tonight with wingers William Eklund and Alexander Barabanov. Head coach David Quinn is hoping to keep his star centerman to around 15-16 minutes, short of Couture’s customary 19 or so.

“It’s been a long, long journey. I’m just excited to get back to playing here,” Couture said. “I’m sure I’m going to be rusty. I’m sure there’s gonna be some time, it’s gonna take some time to get back in the flow of things. These guys are 45 games in this season. But I’m going to try and contribute in any way that I possibly can to help the guys win.”

 

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