Komets goaltender Nick Boucher had successful surgery on his hip Thursday, he confirmed via text message, and he could resume playing as early as January.
“The surgery was a success,” Boucher wrote. “No question, it was needed.”
Boucher, who was the Komets’ MVP last season when they won the CHL title, has cam impingement in both hips. That’s abnormal grinding.
“The surgery was a success,” Boucher wrote. “It was overdue, really. Another season without it would have been bad.”
One side was operated on, and doctors and Boucher will decide at a later date whether surgery on the other hip is necessary, though it will likely happen.
The damage discovered Thursday was more extensive than expected; there was microfracture surgery that the 31-year-old Boucher had hoped wouldn’t be necessary.
“Probably because I played so long through this, some of my cartilage was destroyed or gone,” Boucher wrote. “So they drill little microscopic holes in the joint and it actually results in new cartilage growing. The recovery is 4-to-8 weeks longer because of this.”
Last season, Boucher, 31, was 32-12-4 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
He has helped the Komets win four championships in his five seasons with the team. He is not under contract yet for this season – the team is looking at bringing in at least two other goalies for its first ECHL season – though Boucher will remain as an assistant coach as he recuperates.
It’s possible Boucher will not recover in time to play this season for the Komets or another team, or that he’ll be unable to resume his playing career, depending on his recovery.
Meanwhile, it remains possible the Komets will go after goalie Kenny Reiter, brother of former Fort Wayne goalie Kevin Reiter.
Kenny Reiter will sign a two-way contract with Bridgeport of the higher-level American Hockey League, and the Komets may see whether they can get him assigned to Fort Wayne. Kenny Reiter led Minnesota-Duluth to the 2011 NCAA championship.