Why blaming the medical staff is nonsense

Dmitry Chesnokov wrote today that Semyon Varlamov is headed to the KHL. Chesnokov spoke with the young Russian’s agent who, when asked about “the stereotype that Varlamov is often injured”, implied that the Washington Capitals’ medical staff was responsible for the amount of time Varly was sidelined throughout his time in Washington.

However, being an expert and all, I am calling shenanigans.

That implication is ridiculous. In all seriousness, I was an athletic training student last year. While I don’t know everything there is to know about the rehabilitation processes, I did observe in every training room at the University of North Dakota for a total of about 105 hours. During those hours, you see the how athletes talk with the certifieds when they come in with an injury or are going through the stages of rehabbing. Several times I heard some version of “I’m not ready” if someone felt like they needed more time until they felt 100 percent. By Varlamov’s age, athletes know their body. They know how much they can push themselves.

I once heard a conversation between a trainer and athlete discussing the latter’s condition. The trainer asked how the athlete was feeling. They responded that it was still acting up a little but they wanted to play so bad, but then immediately, they said that they understood that if it doesn’t feel right, it’s best not to go. They knew that they could risk a worse injury than they already had, which brings me to my next point.

During rehabilitation, the athlete is just as responsible as the trainers, therapists, and doctors. If they don’t cooperate by not doing their exercises and or not communicating, no one is going to benefit. Obviously, none of us outside of the organization know how Varlamov was treated or if he was fully cooperative. Considering his attitude over the years, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he didn’t comply with what  he was told do because he didn’t deem it necessary for his rehab.


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