Between the wedding and the honeymoon, and continuing to build his entrepreneurial ventures, it’s been another busy summer for Zach Hyman.
But at least he’s had one less thing to do.
Golfing was effectively scratched from the list of sanctioned summer activities once the Toronto Maple Leafs winger underwent surgery to repair the ACL he tore in the club’s second straight opening-round loss to the Boston Bruins back in April.
With the Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic landing at roughly the halfway point in his diagnosed six-month-plus recovery window, the second annual event was held Monday at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto without the player on the masthead included in the field.
However, his role reduced to organizer, fundraiser and advocate for local charities, and cheerleader was ultimately insignificant given that Hyman was in a position to deliver a positive update on his rehabilitation process.
“You can’t rush something like this; it’s something that takes time,” Hyman said, speaking to reporters before taking on the role of starter as well.
“I’m in a great spot right now,” he said. “I think that I’m on track. We’re still just three months out of surgery, but I’m excited to continue to progress.”
Hyman was sent in to have his damaged knee ligament repaired just a couple days after the Leafs were eliminated, delaying the start of his summer.
Instead of unwinding, Hyman endured weeks and weeks of more hard work before only months later having the chance to step away and enjoy some much needed rest.
If there is a silver lining to having holidays delayed to manage such a serious injury, it’s that Hyman was able to delay that vacation time to coincide with his wedding, and the honeymoon celebrations that followed.
“Now I’m back on the grind, and I’m at the point where I’m feeling a lot better and more like myself,” Hyman said. “That’s exciting.”
His first time recovering from major surgery, Hyman explained that the most significant challenge for him was dealing with the unknown and previously uncharted.
Having worked through the difficult first stages though, Hyman says that he found comfort in following the guidelines, ticking off checkpoints as he goes, and seeing all the progress that he’s made since he had the procedure.
But while the more laborious and unsettling stages of the healing process are now behind him, the biggest challenge could still lie ahead.
Hyman wants to be around the team as much as possible through training camp and the start of the season, but is still expected to be limited for several weeks and potentially months before eventually working his way back into the lineup.
Keeping his patience while the team starts into his schedule, and while he inches closer to his own normal, will present another new hurdle for him to overcome.
“This is something you don’t want to rush back from,” he said. “It’s a big surgery, and you can come back and return at 100 percent if you come back when you’re 100 percent.
“I’m pushing the envelope and trying to come back as soon as I can, but I have to be aware that (every) body heals differently. I have to make sure I’m cleared by the surgeons, the sports science staff and athletic therapists.
“There’s a long list you have to go through to make sure you’re ready.”
The minimum six-month recovery time dating back to Hyman’s April 29 surgery has him pace to return to normal activities four weeks after the Leafs open the season versus the Ottawa Senators.
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