“It was like a little piece of crap, kinda gross. It was the size of a quarter, and it was hard and fluid and an extra chunk on one of the discs of his back, pressing up on the nerves.”
That disgusting description could go many different ways; but for the Vegas Golden Knights and captain Mark Stone, it was how he described the object he had removed from his back to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, which Friedge shared on the most recent edition of the 32 Thoughts Podcast.
Friedman related the incident to when NHL veteran Ed Jovanaski had hip surgery. Back then, Jovanovski urged Friedman to post the photo of what was removed from his hip on his blog. Friedman did, but with a strict “click at your own risk” warning.
For Stone, there is also a picture that shows exactly what was taken from his back. But unlike Jovanovski, he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing it.
Stone, 30, had offseason back surgery in May to combat a back injury that limited him to just 37 games in 2021-22. He started training camp in a red no-contact jersey but has since shed it and played in the team’s most recent preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
Rumors of Stone’s career being in jeopardy circulated in the offseason, which Friedman says Stone laughed at. He is en route to return to the VGK on opening night against the Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s night and day… the nerve pain is gone. Thank God. I have never been through that in my life before,” said Stone after the second day of training camp.
As a precautionary measure, Stone has stopped playing golf and was not a competitor at the team’s annual golf outing. But if this surgery really worked to perfection like Stone says it did, he and the Vegas Golden Knights will look to avoid the golf course with a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here’s the full podcast, as always; the Stone talk is around 10 minutes in.
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