Kevan Miller experienced a nightmare 2018-19 season. The veteran defenseman could not stay healthy, and watched his season end on April 4th in Minnesota. Miller did not play a single game in Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup Final, a fact that “stings” the heart-and-soul blueliner. Miller caught up with Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe to discuss his grueling rehab and the sting of missing the playoff run.
It is now August 18th, less than a month until training camps open across the NHL. Miller, however, has not yet resumed skating. The 31-year-old defender called his rehab a “long road”, one that has “consumed my summer.” The good news? Miller is finally starting to feel like himself again.
“I don’t want to sound negative about it, because the knee feels great. I feel like a human and an athlete again.” The light at the end of the tunnel is getting larger for Miller, who fractured his knee cap in a game against the Wild in Minnesota on April 4th. Miller worked hard through the first two rounds of the playoffs to set himself up for a return. The goal? To be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
It was in Carolina, prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, that changed everything. While doing dry-land training, Miller again fractured his knee cap. “A day I would really like to forget” admitted Miller. “I’ll never forget the feeling of it. . .like a balloon popped.”
That feeling would end Miller’s season and his dreams of playing in the Final. It stung for the veteran, but he quickly has turned his attention to 2019-20. “I think the biggest thing now is to get back on the ice and contribute to the team again and really give the extra push to finish the job this time.”
Miller has worked extremely hard to get back on the ice. He’s worked a grueling rehab schedule that includes two workouts per day six times a week. It’s a hard workout that has tested the limits of his fractured knee, but one that has him on the right path.
Miller expects to be back in Boston as early as this coming week, and could be cleared to skate in relatively short order. That’s the first step for Miller in his return. The next steps? Taking contact and participating in drills in practice, then finally seeing game action. There is no timeline for that just yet.
“We are three months, one day and four hours from surgery” proclaimed Miller. “It was a big date circled on the calendar, now I can really start progressing. The bone at three months is pretty healed.”