The Toronto Rock have announced that all-time leading scorer Colin Doyle is close to making a return to the lineup and will likely play in one of the team’s final two regular season games. Doyle tore his rotator cuff last summer and required surgery to repair the tear. The recovery timeline was originally thought to be long enough that the 17-year NLL veteran would miss the entire 2015 NLL season.
“We got to this point by sticking to the program and pushing the envelope mentally and physically but also showing restraint and following firm orders from the doctors,” said Doyle of the recovery process that’s led to the possibility of playing this season. “I had a really good physio team and a great surgeon. The recovery process was a little ahead of schedule and when I learned of that, I worked extra hard physically on the shoulder and on my whole body to accelerate the rehab process and put myself in a position to possibly play this season.”
Doyle could play the first game of his 18th NLL season as early as this Friday night when the Rock host the New England Black Wolves at Air Canada Centre.
“It’s exciting to know we are getting close,” said Doyle. “The last couple of weeks, being more involved with the team and slowly reintegrating myself into the group, has got me pretty excited. It’s been great to see how close the group is and how they have been working towards a goal. It has been inspiring to know that I could have the chance to help this group attain their goals. I just can’t let that excitement cloud my judgment as to knowing when I’m ready to play.”
Doyle will practice with the team on Tuesday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville and be evaluated by the Rock medical staff over the following days in order to determine if he’s ready to play this weekend.
The Rock still have a chance to claim the number one spot in the East Division. They need some help from an opponent or possibly two of the Rochester Knighthawks depending on the results of the Rock’s final two regular season games. Rochester (10-4) and Toronto (12-4) have each lost four games and the Knighthawks hold the tiebreaker should the two teams finish with identical records at the end of the 18-game regular season.