Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom says his focus is on returning to play in the NHL.
The problem is he doesn’t know when that’s going to happen.
As his teammates get set to start the 2021 season on Wednesday, Klefbom is in Karlstad, Sweden, weighing his options.
“Ideally, I would like to go over and see a doctor in Cleveland to get some answers,” he said over a Zoom call on Monday.
“It’s obviously a big decision to get a shoulder replacement or get my shoulder surgery done.”
Klefbom, 27, has been dogged by problems with his left shoulder since an injury in the Swedish League during the 2012-13 season.
“It was one time when I played in Farjestads, I kind of separated my shoulder pretty badly,” he said. “From what I’ve heard, there’s risk for arthritis and other stuff going with this when you have this kind of surgery that I had in my younger days.”
While the problem has hindered his hockey career at times, Klefbom said the pain has become a problem in his everyday life.
“When the pain is making my private life really hard living, you want to be smart,” he said. “You can play with a lot of pain. You can get pain meds and rehab and all that.
“When you have trouble sleeping and living your private life and all that, you want to be smart with your body.
“This is not something that happened overnight. It’s been going on for a while. I was kind of aware I need to do something. If that’s in a couple of weeks or a month or a year or two years, you don’t really know. But in the end, you have to listen to your body.”
Klefbom won’t play this season. He’d like to be back in action for training camp in September. So isn’t there a deadline for surgery to make sure he’s healed and ready?
“I don’t really see it that way with everything that’s going on,” he said. “I would like to get the surgery as soon as possible, but with travelling and going into different countries, and obviously getting surgery in the end, it’s tough to find a pretty good solution right now with COVID(-19) and everything.
“I don’t really put pressure on myself to get the surgery done because I still want to get it done in the end. The way it looks right now in the world, I just see it from a different perspective.”
In 378 NHL games, Klefbom has 156 points. He has drafted 19th overall by the Oilers in 2011.
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Oscar Klefbom.