Marco Sturm  has been down this road before and he does not like it. On Dec. 18, 2008 Sturm tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and missed the rest of the Bruins regular season as well as the playoffs. On Saturday, he tore the medial collateral [MCL] and anterior cruciate ligaments [ACL] when he went in for a hit against Philadelphia Matt Carle 21-second into his first shift in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia.
“Yeah, I tried to hit him [Carle] and I felt it right away when I went to hit him. I got caught or something and my knee twisted just a little bit and I could hear right away the big pop and I had heard it again, before [his previous ACL tear] and I knew it was going to be the same thing from before,” Sturm said.
For Carle’s part, he did not register that the Bruins forward had been injured until play was stopped when Tuukka Rask  covered the puck in the Boston zone. It was just a normal hockey play — Sturm going for a defenseman on the forecheck, the defenseman gets the puck away and braces for the hit.
“I just saw him coming out of the corner of my eye and had to get rid of the puck because I knew I was going to get hit,” Carle said. “So, I just flipped the puck and braced for the hit and saw him go down right after. Just kind of one of those weird plays that happens during a game. As soon as I flipped the puck and reacting to that and he just kind of bounced off me and I didn’t know he was hurt until later in the shift and he was just laying on the ice and you know it had to be something pretty serious because he wasn’t moving.”
Sturm noted that the injury is the exactly same that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady  suffered in the beginning of the 2008 NFL season. In as such, Sturm will wait for the MCL to reduce in swelling and heal itself a little before going in and having surgery on the knee. Like his left knee the year before, Dr. Peter Asnis and Dr. Tom Gill will perform the procedure in about four to six weeks. In terms of rehabilitation, Sturm does not yet know if he will stay in Boston or head back to Germany.
“I am definitely going to have Dr. Asnis and Dr. Gill do the surgery again but for sure I am going to have it here. I don’t know if I am going to stay here or go back home. There are a lot of questions and I just don’t know and we will have to wait and see,” Sturm said. “These guys, they didn’t do it, but it’s acting like Tom Brady. Same thing. But he decided to go to another doctor. And he did it too early, because the MCL wasn’t healed. So you got to get it healed first and then do the surgery. So it could be a while.”
At this point though, Sturm is just trying to cope with what could be the lowest moment of his career and perhaps the very end of his career. He is only 31 years old and has 855 NHL  games under his belt but is now looking at his second major knee surgery in as many years.
“It is going to be the toughest challenge. The last one I didn’t know what to expect, I just went at it but I was around all the season with the boys,” Sturm said. “That helped me a lot. This time I know how hard it was and all that. It is a lot of work. I don’t know. Right now, I don’t know. I am still rattled and just got to be patient. I know I have my family to support me, my family at home so, we’ll see. It will be hard, definitely but I know what to expect now and just try do the best with it.”
It will be December before Sturm can even think about coming back to the ice for the Bruins for the 2010-11 season, his last of year under contract to the Bruins for $3.5 million. Yet, Sturm is the type of high-character guy who has worked hard to get back from injuries before and, though melancholy sitting on the stage at TD Garden Monday morning, showed a bit of resolve to think that he can make it back from a catastrophic injury, one more time.
“After the ACL from last year and just never thought it was going to be another injury like this. It is going to be a tough one but I have always come back from big injuries and I will come back from this one but it is going to be tough,” Sturm said.